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Stuff becomes presenting partner four UTSNZ

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Stuff is continuing its support of basketball in New Zealand by becoming the Presenting Partner for the Tertiary 3X3 National Championships, being held at ASB Sports Centre in Wellington this weekend.

The Stuff showcourt will be livestreamed exclusively on www.stuff.co.nz, with the Grand Finals tipping off at 1:40pm on Sunday.

National Sports Editor Fred Woodcock says Stuff is pleased to continue their partnership with Basketball New Zealand and additionally support University and Tertiary Sport New Zealand (UTSNZ) for this event.

"Basketball is a hugely popular sport in New Zealand and Stuff is delighted to present the national tertiary championships, alongside our established media partnership with the NBL."

The two-day tournament will be made up of 16 teams (eight men’s and eight women’s) from eight universities. Proceedings will run from 11am on Saturday 10 April through till 3pm on Sunday 11 April.

Basketball New Zealand 3x3 Manager David Huxford says having Stuff’s backing goes a long way to helping increase the knowledge and prestige of the competition.

"The tertiary basketball space is an exciting one that is poised to take off. These teams comprise of tremendous talent and the pathway to a world event through the international tertiary body FISU is a major prize. Previous events have seen winning teams travel to China to play other top qualifying universities from all around the world. Like other areas within basketball, the tertiary event is growing in popularity. The addition of Stuff as a presenting partner is a fantastic vote of confidence and boost in exposure."

UTSNZ Executive Director Sarah Anderson is also delighted by the announcement of the partnership with Stuff and BBNZ.

"Increasing the visibility and profiling tertiary student achievement creates a real sense of pride and identity within students. It’s also a way to ensure students, staff and alumni continue to engage with their universities," says Anderson.

The popularity of 3X3 was again evident at the recent Rebel Sport 3X3 Secondary Schools Nationals, where 141 teams from 56 schools played a part in over 700 games across the four day event. Many of those students will be the future of this competition.

The event adds to the 3x3 pathway in New Zealand. Basketball New Zealand already runs the Rebel Sport 3X3 Quest Tour and 3X3 Secondary Schools Nationals, plus the NBL has created a Schick 3X3 series, and there’s the 3X3.EXE league. This UTSNZ event is part of the mix, helping to bridge the gap between secondary schools and the top leagues, and it all leads to our New Zealand 3X3 programme and a look at the Commonwealth Games and Olympics.

This year, the University of Otago’s absence from the men’s draw means a new champion will be crowned on Sunday afternoon.

It’s hard to pick a favourite in the men’s event. The University of Auckland may have already suffered a blow with Sam Aruwa, a New Zealand 3X3 representative, withdrawing due to injury. They will be looking to Mikaere Watene who is an experienced 3X3 player. Lincoln University’s Ben Bowie has already got a national title to his name and played for Lincoln at the FISU 3X3 World Champs in China in 2017. Keep an eye out for Canterbury’s Aiden Tonge - a stand out for Rotorua Boys High School in 2020, attended the Steven Adams Invitational and now part of the Canterbury Rams training squad. His team mate Paul Stephenson is a great shooter, so they could be eyeing the title.

In the women’s event, it’s hard to look past Lincoln University defending their title. The Christchurch-based university shape as the favourites going into the tournament, boasting the talents of Canterbury Wildcats Rosalia Samia, Emma Trolove, Lauryn Hippolite and Brittany Richards. Rosalia was a member of winning side in 2019 event and competed for Lincoln at the FISU 3X3 World Championships. She also repped the Canterbury Wildcats at the 2020 Schick 3x3 Cup. Also keep an eye out for Josie Stockill, the former Tall Fern is back from Australia. She is living in Wellington, completing a Masters degree remotely through the University of Canterbury.

Selected games on court one are set to be live streamed for those unable to attend the action in person. The livestream will be available from Saturday morning on this Stuff Sport news page.

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