Rising son - Dwayne Tamatea climbing the coaching ladder

Heyday: Dwayne Tamatea in his Rising Suns days — this game was against Church College in 2002. Herald file picture
From player to coach: He starred for the Rising Suns basketball team, who used to pack the YMCA to capacity. Now, Dwayne “Tama” Tamatea is making his mark as a coach. Jack Maurirere gets the benefit of Tamatea’s advice at a session at Ilminster Intermediate hall last night. Picture by Paul Rickard

GISBORNE’S “Mr Basketball” is on his way up the national coaching ladder.

Former Rising Suns court general and current Gisborne Basketball Association chairman Dwayne “Tama” Tamatea has received his first national age group coaching assignment.

Tamatea will be assistant to Carley Hewitt, head coach of the New Zealand Silver under-14 girls team, at a Queen’s Birthday Weekend age-group tournament in Melbourne.

“Tama will have a multi-faceted role,” says Basketball New Zealand national talent development consultant Dave Mackay, who first met Tamatea in 2008.

“As an experienced and mature head, he can support Carley, as well as guide the girls.

“BBNZ wants to encourage and foster female coaches and to have someone like Tama take up that important role alongside Carly is a credit to him because he’s a head coach in his own right.

“We want not just the players but also the coaches to be tested — for them to come back better than they were when they went,” said Mackay, a 10-year veteran of BBNZ forays to Melbourne.

“We know Tama has done a great job for Gisborne basketball over many years and now he has a hard-earned, well-deserved professional development opportunity for invaluable learning.”

The NZ u14 girls won eight from eight last year and won the A grade finals

Hewitt was assistant to Angela Perrott-Hunt as the New Zealand u14 girls broke new ground in their first trip to the Melbourne tournament last year. The team won eight from eight and beat the Sandringham Sabres 49-19 in the A-grade final.

Hawke’s Bay-based Hewitt is delighted at the prospect of working with Tamatea.

“I’m excited to have him on board because he’s knowledgeable and the way he delivers information to the kids is awesome,” she said. “Tama’s ability to read the game will be huge for us.”

Tamatea, a product of Opunake, grew up playing rugby, league, cricket, tennis, volleyball, soccer, softball . . . and basketball.

He took up the game as a nine-year-old and went on to become starting point-guard for the New Plymouth team, who beat defending champions Northland 86-80 in overtime in the 1992 national second-division final at New Plymouth YMCA.

He played in the National Basketball League for New Plymouth Bears in 1993, then came to Gisborne as a 24-year-old in January of 1995, and ran point for the strongest Rising Suns team in history.

Tamatea came out firing. He scored 17 points on debut against Auckland as the Suns won 114-80 at the YMCA, and made his mark as the Northern Conference’s premier passer in his first two seasons. He led the conference in assists — 3.7 per game in 1995; 5.1 in 1996.

He scored 34 points in the 1996 season-opener here against former NBL team Waitakere Rangers, who went on to become the national second-division champions. Tamatea’s free-throw sealed a 104-103 victory and the Suns went on to beat the champions again, 92-78, in the return match.

Tamatea’s second-division coach in New Plymouth and Gisborne — Frank Russell — is not surprised at his successful transition from the floor to the sideline.

'Tamatea is unselfish, energetic and he’s made his own opportunities as a coach'

“He’s unselfish, energetic and he’s made his own opportunities as a coach by putting all of his energy into the youth. He’s done an enormous amount for basketball here, on and off the court.”

Former GBA president Adrian Sparks has, since 2010, been part of a generation of local age-group coaches to benefit from Tamatea’s input.

“He can see things that we may be missing and then gives the tools to help us coach more effectively,” said Sparks. “He challenges my thinking, gives me direction. He’s always looking to involve other people so that we can help players and grow the game.”

GBA committee member Catherine Kepa sees Tamatea at the coalface.

'Forty Sundays a year he starts with the u9s before 9am and goes right through to the u19s, who finish at 6.30'

“Forty Sundays a year he starts with the under-9s before 9am and goes right through to the under-19s, who finish at 6.30pm,” she said. “He’s selfless. The kids are lucky to have him.”

Gisborne Girls’ High Year 11 student Kaipo Olsen-Baker first made the Tamatea-coached GBA u15 team as a 12 year-old at Gisborne Intermediate.

“He never saw my being younger as a barrier . . . he just let me play with the older girls and at club ball with the women,” said the former Koru age group representative. “He knows the game and he understands us, which is pretty cool. He’s firm but fair. We all respected him.”

Tamatea deflects a lot of the praise on to his supportive family.

“I couldn’t do what I do without my wife (Lisa), my kids and Turanga Health for supporting me in a great workplace,” said the 46-year-old, who works as a service delivery manager at Turanga Health.

I’m driven to be a good role model for them; to teach good life skills, not just basketball skills.”

“You learn so much when you’re coaching, not just about other people, but yourself. If you reflect and you’re honest, you can improve.

“It’s hard to coach basketball because you’re got to make decisions quickly, and often those decisions aren’t right.

“You hold yourself to account because at court-side you affect the game so much.

“In basketball, you can sub players off, take a time-out, change tactics, motivate the team or calm people down so the key things I’ve learned as a coach are —

“You’ve got to be disciplined, well-organised and creative.

“You can’t sweat the small stuff.

“You’ve got to fail to succeed.

“You’ve got to think outside the box and be willing to take risks.

“You’ve got to be consistent, not just as regards your punctuality and effort, but in terms of the messages given to players because it’s a great feeling to be able to help them and see them reach their potential.”

GISBORNE’S “Mr Basketball” is on his way up the national coaching ladder.

Former Rising Suns court general and current Gisborne Basketball Association chairman Dwayne “Tama” Tamatea has received his first national age group coaching assignment.

Tamatea will be assistant to Carley Hewitt, head coach of the New Zealand Silver under-14 girls team, at a Queen’s Birthday Weekend age-group tournament in Melbourne.

“Tama will have a multi-faceted role,” says Basketball New Zealand national talent development consultant Dave Mackay, who first met Tamatea in 2008.

“As an experienced and mature head, he can support Carley, as well as guide the girls.

“BBNZ wants to encourage and foster female coaches and to have someone like Tama take up that important role alongside Carly is a credit to him because he’s a head coach in his own right.

“We want not just the players but also the coaches to be tested — for them to come back better than they were when they went,” said Mackay, a 10-year veteran of BBNZ forays to Melbourne.

“We know Tama has done a great job for Gisborne basketball over many years and now he has a hard-earned, well-deserved professional development opportunity for invaluable learning.”

The NZ u14 girls won eight from eight last year and won the A grade finals

Hewitt was assistant to Angela Perrott-Hunt as the New Zealand u14 girls broke new ground in their first trip to the Melbourne tournament last year. The team won eight from eight and beat the Sandringham Sabres 49-19 in the A-grade final.

Hawke’s Bay-based Hewitt is delighted at the prospect of working with Tamatea.

“I’m excited to have him on board because he’s knowledgeable and the way he delivers information to the kids is awesome,” she said. “Tama’s ability to read the game will be huge for us.”

Tamatea, a product of Opunake, grew up playing rugby, league, cricket, tennis, volleyball, soccer, softball . . . and basketball.

He took up the game as a nine-year-old and went on to become starting point-guard for the New Plymouth team, who beat defending champions Northland 86-80 in overtime in the 1992 national second-division final at New Plymouth YMCA.

He played in the National Basketball League for New Plymouth Bears in 1993, then came to Gisborne as a 24-year-old in January of 1995, and ran point for the strongest Rising Suns team in history.

Tamatea came out firing. He scored 17 points on debut against Auckland as the Suns won 114-80 at the YMCA, and made his mark as the Northern Conference’s premier passer in his first two seasons. He led the conference in assists — 3.7 per game in 1995; 5.1 in 1996.

He scored 34 points in the 1996 season-opener here against former NBL team Waitakere Rangers, who went on to become the national second-division champions. Tamatea’s free-throw sealed a 104-103 victory and the Suns went on to beat the champions again, 92-78, in the return match.

Tamatea’s second-division coach in New Plymouth and Gisborne — Frank Russell — is not surprised at his successful transition from the floor to the sideline.

'Tamatea is unselfish, energetic and he’s made his own opportunities as a coach'

“He’s unselfish, energetic and he’s made his own opportunities as a coach by putting all of his energy into the youth. He’s done an enormous amount for basketball here, on and off the court.”

Former GBA president Adrian Sparks has, since 2010, been part of a generation of local age-group coaches to benefit from Tamatea’s input.

“He can see things that we may be missing and then gives the tools to help us coach more effectively,” said Sparks. “He challenges my thinking, gives me direction. He’s always looking to involve other people so that we can help players and grow the game.”

GBA committee member Catherine Kepa sees Tamatea at the coalface.

'Forty Sundays a year he starts with the u9s before 9am and goes right through to the u19s, who finish at 6.30'

“Forty Sundays a year he starts with the under-9s before 9am and goes right through to the under-19s, who finish at 6.30pm,” she said. “He’s selfless. The kids are lucky to have him.”

Gisborne Girls’ High Year 11 student Kaipo Olsen-Baker first made the Tamatea-coached GBA u15 team as a 12 year-old at Gisborne Intermediate.

“He never saw my being younger as a barrier . . . he just let me play with the older girls and at club ball with the women,” said the former Koru age group representative. “He knows the game and he understands us, which is pretty cool. He’s firm but fair. We all respected him.”

Tamatea deflects a lot of the praise on to his supportive family.

“I couldn’t do what I do without my wife (Lisa), my kids and Turanga Health for supporting me in a great workplace,” said the 46-year-old, who works as a service delivery manager at Turanga Health.

I’m driven to be a good role model for them; to teach good life skills, not just basketball skills.”

“You learn so much when you’re coaching, not just about other people, but yourself. If you reflect and you’re honest, you can improve.

“It’s hard to coach basketball because you’re got to make decisions quickly, and often those decisions aren’t right.

“You hold yourself to account because at court-side you affect the game so much.

“In basketball, you can sub players off, take a time-out, change tactics, motivate the team or calm people down so the key things I’ve learned as a coach are —

“You’ve got to be disciplined, well-organised and creative.

“You can’t sweat the small stuff.

“You’ve got to fail to succeed.

“You’ve got to think outside the box and be willing to take risks.

“You’ve got to be consistent, not just as regards your punctuality and effort, but in terms of the messages given to players because it’s a great feeling to be able to help them and see them reach their potential.”

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Do you support the call for a feasibility study into developing an "inland port" and sending the district's export logs to Napier Port by rail, to get log trucks out of the city and to repurpose the port and harbour area?