New Zealand Secondary Schools Sports Council (NZSSSC) statistics show participation in traditional team sports has declined over the last five years and predicts that trend to continue. Recent census figures from the NZSSSC show that Basketball is the fastest growing sport among the top 10 New Zealand sports for participation, with an 18% increase in secondary school players between 2012 and 2015.
The same increase in participation is reflected in the number of Basketball teams at Sacred Heart College. In 2015, we had six Year 9-13 teams and three Year 7-8 teams enrolled in local leagues. In 2017, this has grown to eight Year 9-13 teams and four Year 7-8 teams. A 25% increase over three years. At our recent 2018 Year 7 and 8 trials, 85 boys registered and as a result we will be entering a record eight teams into the intermediate competition.
The development of the younger age groups, particularly Year 7 and 8 are seen as key in the development of the sport. Our aim is to develop team orientated players that are coachable, fundamentally well skilled and team focused.
With the recent appointment of New Zealand 3 X 3 star guard Karl Noyer as senior Head Coach and Mike Robinson as Head Coach of the Year 7 and 8 programme and our Junior Development Programme, Basketball at Sacred Heart is strong, and focussed on the future for both our players and our coaches.
The Year 7 and 8 teams play all year round on Thursday afternoons in the Auckland Mini Ball Competition at the ASB Stadium in Kohimarama. This gives the players a great opportunity to develop their fundamental skills like passing, dribbling, shooting and defence, as well as giving them plenty of game time.
For Basketball players in Years 9 to 13 we enter teams in the Central East competition at Under 15, Under 17, Under 19 and Open Mens’ levels.
School teams train in the College gymnasium and at other facilities in the area before and after school and in the evenings. Trials are held in early February, which although early for a winter sport, allows our top age teams at least eight weeks of pre-season training. Particular emphasis is put on strength and conditioning, before the season starts at the beginning of May. The season runs until mid-August and culminates in several Secondary School tournaments at both junior and senior level.
The Years 9 to 13 Basketball season runs from the beginning of Term 2 to mid-August in Term 3. Depending on the success of a team, the season may extend to the end of August if competing in the Greater Auckland Championships and Age Group nationals. The intermediate competition runs every term.
Teams are determined by age. Sacred Heart enters teams into the following age grades;
Intermediate (Year 7/8), Under 15, Under 17, Under 19 and Open Mens.
The grade a player qualifies for is determined by the age they turn on their next birthday. For example: If a player turns 15 during the school year, even if it is on the 31st December, then they play in the U17 grade.
1st V: Play on Friday afternoon or evening.
U19’s: Play on Friday afternoon at 4pm. Home and away. Home gym is Sacred Heart gym
U17’s: Play on Tuesday afternoons at venues across Auckland.
U15’s: Play on Wednesday afternoons at 4pm. Home and away. Home gym is Sacred Heart gym.
Intermediate (Years 7 and 8): Play on Thursday afternoons at the ASB Stadium, Kohimarama
Intermediate (Years 7 and 8) Training days and times
Training is either Monday - Session 1, 3.30-4.30pm or Session 2, 4.30-5.30pm or Friday 3.30-4.30pm
Junior Development Programme: Friday 6.45-8.15am
Pre-Season (Term 1) Training days and times
U15 A: Sunday Afternoon 4-6pm, Monday 5.30-7pm and Wednesday 3.30-5pm
U17 A: Training is Monday and Wednesday 6.45-8.15am and Tuesday and Thursday after school.
1st V: Training is Monday and Wednesday 6.45-8.15am and Tuesday after school and Thursday at 5-6.30pm off-site
2nd V: Monday evening 7-8.30pm
In Terms 2 and 3 trainings drop down to two sessions per week, with the addition of game days.