Topic: Rereātea - Midday News

Tauranga to host annual HoopNation tournament

By Regan Paranihi
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty
  • Australia

Two indigenous squads from the Mid-North Coast in New South Wales, Australia will take part in the HoopNation tournament which is to be held in Tauranga this Labour Weekend.

The two teams consist of 15 U18 boys who represent various tribes in Australia, as well as non-indigenous players.

Team manager Luke Thomas says, "HoopNation is a great opportunity to expose the team both on a cultural level and a game level, this tournament is able to give the boys a pathway that wouldn't otherwise be available to them."

Thomas says  tournament will be the first international trip and first competitive basketball game for many in the team.

"A lot of our boys come from fairy disadvantaged backgrounds and for a lot of them this is their first time overseas," says Thomas, "Some of them have never played competition basketball before, but have natural talent and have trained hard for this."

The HoopNation tournament started in Whanganui 2011 and moved to Tauranga in 2015.

389 games between 144 teams will be played over the weekend.

The competition will be held at ASB Stadium in Tauranga and will run from tomorrow through to Monday 22 Oct