Canterbury again highly recognized at the BBNA Annual Awards Night
Basketball New Zealand has just held their annual awards night, and Cantabury was again extremely well represented at the evening, with five of the prestigious awards being presented to people with very strong Canterbury ties. Please head over to BBNZ’s website for the full list of winners and their accomplishments.
Below is the synopsis for each of our winners:
CEDRIC CUDBY VOLUNTEER AWARD
Canterbury Basketball Association’s Paula Wilkinson has been involved in basketball for over 50 years as a player, coach, referee and administrator. She is still active across all four of these roles today.
Wilkinson started two basketball clubs from scratch. One in Diamond Harbour and another based at a council venue in Christchurch, called Pioneer. Pioneer are now an incorporated society, have an active committee and run primary school competitions. They entered 17 teams into the Canterbury basketball Association’s winter club competitions.
Pioneer also facilitate coach and referee development. Wilkinson has influenced thousands of school kids in Christchurch over the years, including former Tall Ferns Sally and Gina Farmer, Tall Black Ethan Rustbach, international coach Kennedy Kereama, and referees Matt Bathurst and Marty Davidson.
CAROLYN GREY FEMALE COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD
For the second year running, Lori McDaniel has been presented with the Carolyn Grey Female Coach of the Year Award
McDaniel is employed by the Canterbury Basketball Association as a Community Coach and Women’s Development Manager. McDaniel coaches the Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats who won back to back WBC titles in 2016 and 2017. She coached the Aon New Zealand Under 17 girls’ team who finished fourth at the 2017 FIBA Under 16 Asian Championships, earning them a place in this year’s FIBA Under 17 World Cup in Belarus, where she will again lead the team.
The FIBA Under 17 World Cup in Belarus will be the first time a New Zealand junior girls’ team will compete at this event.
THE AMBASSADORS TROPHY – MALE JUNIOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Quinn Clinton was a member of the Junior Tall Blacks who were the first New Zealand age group team to attend a FIBA Under 19 World Cup. Held in Cairo, Clinton demonstrated outstanding leadership on and off the court. Clinton was influential in a number of big plays at critical times during and was a major contributor. He was the team’s second-leading scorer averaging 12.1 points per game.
At the Aon Under 19 National Championship, Clinton led the Waitaha Canterbury combined team to a stunning comeback win against Auckland in the Grand Final to win. With the score against Clinton’s team, 82 points to 65 at the start of the fourth quarter, he finished the game with 34 points, 16 rebounds and 9 assists to help win. He was selected in the tournament All Star Five and awarded MVP.
Clinton is a development player with the SKYCITY Breakers, a member of the Canterbury Rams and will join St. Mary’s College in California where he will play college basketball later this year.
LONG SERVICE AWARD
John Grocott has given 50 years of service to basketball. He began playing at Wellington College in the mid 1950’s before he moved to attend Canterbury University.
Grocott started playing at Canterbury Basketball in 1956 and took up the role of Club Treasurer in the early 60’s. During that period he was elected to the Committee of the Canterbury Men’s Basketball Association. Grocott was President in 1970 when the men’s and women’s associations combined to form the Canterbury Basketball Association.
In 1967, Grocott attained his National Refereeing badge and refereed in local Christchurch competitions for the next 40 years. From 1970 through until 1980, he organised the Canterbury Secondary School’s Friday night competition. The competition grew from 24 teams in 1970 to just over 100 teams in 1980.
During the mid-70’s, Grocott became involved with Basketball New Zealand when the office was based in Christchurch. In 1980 he was elected onto the Executive and remained in that role for 10 years.
Grocott was also involved with the National Coaches Association as well as the National Referees Association, which were both located in Christchurch. In the late 90’s Grocott was the Auditor of Basketball New Zealand and is currently the auditor of the New Zealand Basketball Foundation.
In 1993, Grocott was honoured with the Sir Lance Cross Memorial Award. He was made a Life Member of the Canterbury Basketball Association in 1999 as well as the now disestablished Canterbury Officials Association. He was also made a Life Member of Basketball New Zealand in 2007.
THE ZENA GAY MEMORIAL AWARD
This award recognises a notable contribution to women’s basketball in New Zealand.
Kennedy Kereama has coached at almost every level, from coaching the Christchurch Girls’ High School Senior A team in the early 2000’s right through to national level where he coached the Tall Ferns from 2010 until the beginning of this year.
Kereama’s coaching resume is a long one that includes a number of successful results. From 2003 until 2007, he coached at secondary school level. During that time he also coached Under 15, Under 16, Under 17, Under 19 and Under 21 Canterbury women’s teams. Over that period Kereama’s teams claimed three Silvers and one Gold medal result at national events.
He began his international coaching career in 2007 with the New Zealand U16 women’s team. He then became the Technical Assistant for the Tall Ferns in 2008, the year the Tall Ferns attended the Beijing Olympic Games. In 2009 Kereama became the Assistant Coach of the Tall Ferns before stepping into the Head Coach role in 2010. He coached the team to many international victories, including an historic win over Spain in 2016.
Kereama coached in the Women’s Basketball Championship, formerly known as the Women’s National Basketball League. He also coached in Australia in the South East Australian Basketball League, or SEABL, and in 2009 received the SEABL Coach of the Year Award after taking the Albury Wodonga Lady Bandits to their first finals appearance.
Kereama’s contribution to women’s basketball in New Zealand has been immense. His passion for coaching has led to the development and growth of many of New Zealand’s elite women’s players. He recently resigned as Tall Ferns Head Coach, but has left the group in a strong position to succeed under new coach Guy Molloy.