Regional | Basketball

Cameron family's basketball investment pays off

Raymond Cameron and his whānau have worked tirelessly to strengthen the basketball skills of the Northland community.  Their efforts can be seen in their involvement with two of the three Northland teams that recently qualified for the national competitions, to be held in upcoming months.

It's the first time in ten years that Northland has had three representative teams qualify for the national competition and Coach Raymond Cameron, along with the wider Northland community, has a lot to be proud of.

They're sending their U15's girls, U17's & U19's boys teams in June and July.

"Being in the mix of other regions that are competing for the same positions is an honour.  Having three teams represent Northland going is huge for us," says Cameron.

The former Waikato player, now turned Northland Coach and his whānau have long supported the development of basketball in the north which is, he says, their way of giving back to a community and sport which has provided for them in turn.

Cameron says that it is a common misconception that basketball isn't as strong in his region and they have plenty of untapped talent waiting to be given an opportunity.

"I've always had the belief that Northland has the talent to compete with everyone else but we just had a few obstacles such as logistics and funding to make it consistent," he explains.

The Camerons pay homage to the matriarch of their family, Mata Cameron who has long been recognised for her contribution to the sport of basketball nationwide.

It was she who instituted their training programme, the Cameron Basketball Academy (CBA).  She is still active in the basketball arena, coaching one of the qualifying teams who are on their way to national title contention.

"My mother has been a pillar of basketball in Whangarei and all of Northland.  She is still coaching one of the teams that's going to the Nationals; the under 15 girls', which is amazing."

Through the academy, the Cameron family have been able to create opportunities for the promising basketball talent of the Northland, sending youth and adult teams abroad to foster sporting relationships and give players more exposure to the sport internationally.

Along with organising their youth academy teams, CBA is also organising a men's tour to Canada in July.