North Is­land cham­pi­ons roll into town

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

There’s a brand new bas­ket­ball team in town and they have New Zealand dom­i­na­tion in their sights.

The team won the North Is­land ti­tle re­cently and want to be­come the na­tional cham­pi­ons.

Man­ager and for­ward Karl Hob­man said the Mid West Six­ers formed six months ago when new play­ers moved into the re­gion.

‘‘The lo­cal teams weren’t at the level we want to play at. We want to im­prove the grade.’’

The seven team mem­bers come from Welling­ton, Taranaki, Palmer­ston North and Kapiti.

‘‘Train­ing to­gether is a bit of a chal­lenge but we man­age ... we’ve played to­gether be­fore.’’

Hob­man said the North Is­land com­pe­ti­tion was the per­fect op­por­tu­nity for the Six­ers to show what they could do.

Teams from the North Is­land com­peted in round-robin games end­ing in a dra­matic fi­nal at ASB Sports Cen­tre in Welling­ton.

‘‘We were down 14 points go­ing into the third quar­ter, but we re­ally showed some heart and won by four points,’’ Hob­man said

‘‘A lot of peo­ple would have given up, but the at­ti­tude of our team is to keep fight­ing.’’

Cen­tre Reo Lewis was def­i­nitely the player of the day and scored the most points.

‘‘He’s an ex­cel­lent player, he won’t say much, but he’s great.’’

With the na­tional champs in Oc­to­ber, Hob­man said his team was fo­cused on win­ning.

‘‘We know the state­ment we want to make. We want to win that one too.’’

Wheel­chair bas­ket­ball has been played as a Par­a­lympic sport since 1960. with more than 80 coun­tries of­fi­cially tak­ing part.

The sport re­tains the same rules as able-bod­ied bas­ket­ball with trav­el­ling oc­cur­ring when the ath­lete touches their wheels more than twice when in pos­ses­sion of the ball.

‘‘The goals are the same height, some peo­ple think we must use a child-sized one.’’

Play­ers are as­signed ‘points’ in re­la­tion to their dis­abil­ity with each team al­lowed 14 points.

‘‘I’m an am­putee, so I’m a four pointer, whereas a para­plegic will be a one or two pointer.’’

The team planned to com­pete in Aus­tralia next year and Hob­man said they would love to get some spon­sors be­hind them.

‘‘There’s not a lot of recog­ni­tion for [the sport]. It would be great to raise that pro­file.’’

Many of the play­ers com­pete na­tion­ally and over­seas.

Hob­man, Fal­lon and Lewis were mem­bers of the Rollerblacks bas­ket­ball team that com­peted in South Africa last year.

Hob­man said it was no small feat for the wheel­chair ath­letes with each per­son tak­ing at least two wheelchairs with them.

Karl Hob­man, Trevor Durry, Reo Lewis, Paul Fal­lon, Luke McDowall, Wil­lah-Francesca Mawhin­ney and Slade O’rorke St John form Mid West Six­ers bas­ket­ball team

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