Westlake Boys are proud to be the reigning back to back National Secondary School Basketball Champions, and boast arguably the strongest secondary school basketball programme in New Zealand. Winning both the 2013 National title under Coaches Mark Jackson and Phil Campbell and the 2012 National title under Coach Ben Eves. The Premier Basketball team has also won three titles under Coach Mark Jackson in 2005, 2006 and 2009. The current Premier team is aiming to repeat as ‘three-peat’ champions in 2014. Along with the five national titles at Premier Level, Westlake has multiple Regional Premier and Junior Premier, Auckland Premier Grade, Wider Auckland and North Harbour U15, U17 and Open titles. Our basketball programme is able to sustain this high level of excellence through player development, starting with our Academy of Sport Programme in the Junior School run by Phil Campbell and Nic Sullivan, and continued with dedicated coaches right throughout the League 1 programme.
Westlake’s strong basketball heritage has produced some of New Zealand’s greatest and current Tall Blacks. Ex-Westlake students currently involved in the Tall Blacks are Kirk Penney (Left Westlake 1999), Thomas Abercrombie (2008), Jarrod Kenny (2008), Corey Webster (2009), Robert Loe (2009), Tai Webster (2012) and Jack Salt (2013). Paul Ogilvy who left Westlake in 1982 also has played for the Tall Blacks. Along with representing their country, many of these ex-students and others have gone on to play professional basketball in the USA, Europe and Australia/New Zealand and College Basketball in the USA.
Many current students are New Zealand Basketball age group representatives, currently in 2014 we have Matthew Freeman U18s and Jackson Stent U18s; these boys, along with many others are also playing for North Harbour.
Westlake will once again have a large number of basketball teams (36 in 2013), making it the school’s most popular sport in terms of participation. Ten of these teams play in League 1 and the others play in North Harbour’s League 2 competition. League 1 involves Westlake’s top basketball teams at each age level and is overseen by Mr Sullivan. The Teacher in Charge of League 2 is Mr Jorgensen, who is passionate about ensuring all enthusiastic students are able to be involved with basketball in some capacity at Westlake. League 1 teams play on Wednesday (U15) or Friday (U17 and Open) nights down at the North Shore Events Centre, with the League 2 teams playing Wednesday (U15) or Thursday (U17 and U19) at either the North Shore Events Centre or AUT. With such a large number of teams involved, there are trainings in both the Top Gym and Bottom Gym, before and after school throughout the week.
The basketball programme is involved in the school’s annual exchanges with Tauranga Boys and Hamilton Boys, as well as having annual games against St John’s in Hamilton. The Premier and Junior Premier teams also have trips away to their respective National and Regional Tournaments. The major highlight for the boys this year will be a trip in December to the homeland of basketball, America. 20 boys and three staff will be travel through the Northeast of America playing local high school teams and getting to watch the stars in the NBA play live! Westlake Basketball continues to go from strength to strength in terms of achievement and participation numbers.
Teacher in Charge League 1: Nic Sullivan
Teacher in Charge League 2: Karl Jorgensen
Premier Coaches: Carl Stent, Phil Campbell (Assistant) and Nic Sullivan (Assistant)