The Senior A Boys Basketball team had a lot riding on their shoulders after coming back National Champions after 2017. They set out to do this all again for 2018. Heres a snapshot of the teams year from the coach, Andrea Kendrew….

The 2018 season for the Senior A Boys Basketball team began in early February with three 6:30 am training sessions per week.  The season ended eight months later on 4 October at the Secondary Schools National Championships in Palmerston North.

It has been a long season, at times an extremely hard season but overall a good season.  In between the months of February and October the team trained hard and played hard to achieve the 3 goals they had set at the beginning of the year, they were:

1. To qualify to play in Division One of the McDonalds Thompson Trophy

2. To win the Secondary Schools South Island ‘A’ Premiership

3. To win the Secondary Schools National ‘A’ Championship

Even though the team did not win the National Championship they did meet their other goals, and in so doing they became “back to back” South Island Champions, this is an achievement that very few (if any) other schools have done.

Unfortunately, the season was marred with the departure of our coach of two years Marques Whippy.  This man not only taught the boys many fine basketball skills and drills, he also had a way of teaching skills to help the boys grow into “good young men”.

Marques’ coaching, basketball expertise, humble attitude and ability to be able to relate to the boys and gain their respect was an experience that none of the boys will ever forget.  He certainly left a huge void in our team when he left NZ shores at the end of July.  In fact, one of his saddest moments was when he realised he would have to leave the boys and the team he had invested so much time in.

The team’s 2nd South Island Championship title is attributed to the work that Marques had done with the team over the past two years.  We are so very grateful for his work with our young men and believe that the blessings he received from coaching our boys will last a lifetime as will his influence on our boys.  Thank you Marques for all your work!

Thank you to all parents, students, staff and members of the public who have supported the team throughout the season, and to those who have contributed financially to help with costs of the team attending the South Island and National tournaments.

Thank you to the Rotary Club of Cashmere, Air Rescue & Community Services, and the Waihoro/Spreydon-Cashmere Community Board for the grants they have given to the team.  A special thanks to the anonymous donor who also gave a considerable monetary amount to the team.

With six, possibly eight, of our players leaving school at the end of the year, the future of the Hillmorton Senior A Boys Basketball team will now be up to the Year 12’s left from the team and the Junior boys coming up.  We wish them well for 2019 and hope they will carry on the great work the previous teams have begun.

To finish I would like to give some words of advice from the team of 2018:

· set goals

· discuss and decide your team’s values and rules

· respect one another and your coach

· respect your teachers

· be committed, be disciplined, be coachable

· be proud to represent Hillmorton High School

· play hard, stay humble and never give up!

Andrea Kendrew

Manager/Assistant Coach

Thank you Andrea for the immense job you did and well done boys, you have made Hillmorton High School proud. 

By Gabby Thomas


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