Basketball in New Zealand

Scores and results for basketball leagues in New Zealand

All Leagues - Last 10 Days

Top 5 performances from basketball players


Country: New Zealand
Location: Oceania
Demography: 5M (2020)
Spoken languages: English, Maori
Largest cities: Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, Napier-Hastings

How is basketball developing in New Zealand?

In 1981, a group of club and provincial teams came together to create a men's national basketball league. The following year, the inaugural National Basketball League (NBL) season took place – known then as the Countrywide Basketball League. This semi-professional championship was brought under the management of the New Zealand Basketball Federation. 
The league quickly grew in size and popularity with the arrival of American sponsors and players. After a decline in the early 1990s, New Zealand basketball became popular again in the 2000s with the success of the Tall Blacks and the introduction of the New Zealand Breakers in the Australian NBL.
And while allowing two imported players (including Americans with college basketball experience) has helped make basketball a truly popular sport in New Zealand, the International Federation has changed its tune. Now it is limiting the number of imported players in its major league to focus more on young New Zealand players.

What about the New-Zealand national team?

The New Zealand men's national basketball team is known as the Tall Blacks. A nickname that is, as very often and in many disciplines in New Zealand, linked to the All Blacks. Note that the Tall Blacks perform a traditional Haka before each game, but it is very different from those performed by the All Blacks.

During its history, the team has won three gold medals and seventeen silver medals at the FIBA Oceania Championships. It has also participated twice in the Summer Olympics and six times in World Cups, without ever shining, except at the 2002 FIBA World Championship in Indianapolis, where New Zealand finished fourth. Despite this, there is a long and rich history of basketball in New Zealand.

Who is the most famous Chinese player?

The most famous New Zealand basketball player is probably Sean Marks. The current alternative owner of the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA was the first ever New Zealand player to play in the NBA, where he won a title in 2005 with the San Antonio Spurs and then a second one in 2014 as an assistant coach of the same franchise. 

Other players, such as Stan Hill and Glen Denham, were revered and respected as the face of basketball in New Zealand in their day.