Sport | Basketball

Māori basketball tournament a success despite ‘major issues’

A new app was used by Māori Basketball Aotearoa for this year’s tournament, but it didn’t go quite as planned.

The 2024 Māori Basketball tournament attracted a record number of participants this year with more than 400 teams signing up from iwi all over the motu.

But Poitūkohu Aotearoa (Māori Basketball) general manager Pene Hippolite concedes the tournament wasn’t as good as it has been in previous years, due to the implementation of a new scheduling app.

“We usually use an app called Sporty that costs $5,000 but Basketball New Zealand gave us its Gameday app to use for free, so we tried it. We had some major issues with it but we are getting help to fix those problems in time for next year.”

Hippolite says there were a few unhappy players/coaches but most said they would still be returning next year.

“It wasn’t as good as it has been in the past but I say it was still a success because the main kaupapa of the competition was still there, whanaungatanga.

“The open men’s winning team, Ngāti Toa, had five players who all had the same grandmother. And it’s things like that, that make this tournament so special,” Hippolite says.

The tournament has grown to be the biggest basketball competition in the country and aims to foster the growth of basketball as a sport of choice for Māori players, coaches, administrators and officials while maintaining Māori core values.

Hippolite is confident longtime participants will be back for the tournament next year, including Ngāti Toa, which took out the Open Mens league, and Ngāti Kahungunu, which won the highly anticipated culture night.