Southland Sharks in the Community
The bouncing of basketball has a very distinct sound and once you know it, it’s unmistakable. I heard it before I knew the precise location and behind the large curtain divider tucked away right at the back court the training session I was searching for was in full swing.
Being at Stadium Southland and at the time still in the NBL season, its ok to assume I was searching for the SIT Southland Sharks. Even though this training session contained all the action and flurry of excited calls I had heard many times before, the biggest difference was that these were younger players with a younger coach. The scene though, was a very familiar one. The coach is question is none other than SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks’ player Logan Macic and the players were those from the Southland Representative U17 team whom are getting ready for the National Championships that will be held at the North Shore Event Centre in North Harbour, Auckland later this week.
This relatively young team have done quite well to come this far with only one loss in the qualifying tournament that was held in Dunedin recently. The team includes players who have previously played together and others who are playing together for the first time. All are from the local High Schools; four players from Southland Boys High School; three from Verdon College; three from James Hargest College; and one from Te Wharekura a Arowhenua.
The U17 team benefits greatly from having a Shark coaching them as the drills and training exercises are near duplicates of what U17’s Coach Logan goes through himself with the Southland Sharks during their own training sessions. The U17 team trains once or twice a week depending on availability of the players (and coach), and also play in the Social A Grade on Monday nights at Stadium Southland. Logan began coaching in Southland last year while he was studying at Southern Institute of Technology by being assistant coach to the U13 team with now team mate James Paringatia. Logan also helped out with the U17 team last year but upon being called up for the SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks this year he is coaching this age group on his own. So far so good he says, and he’s really enjoying his time in Southland. The players in his U17 team are a good group of boys, they listen well and love basketball, they soak up all that is taught to them and together with the excellent results his own team were getting on the court, it has so far been a successful start to Logan’s association with our region. (The SIT ZeroFees Southland Sharks off course making it all the way to the NBL Play offs again before being beaten by Hawkes Bay Hawks).
The U17 Southland Representative Team travelling to Auckland consists of Blair Duthie, Keani Edwards, Tremaine Mako, Darcy More, Tim O’Neill, David Stryszko, Michael Walker, Fraser Wiseman and Lawson Wiseman. The manager is David Wiseman. Southland Sharks supporters are keeping one eye on the NBL side and the other on this young team, you never know – they could one day don the lucrative orange jersey, and we wish them all the best of luck at the National Championship Competition.