New Zealand Hoops – Q&A With Brent Matehaere

What is your full name and where are you from?

Brent Matehaere, I grew up in Hamilton, attended St John’s College ’87.  I attended Otago University completing a B.PhEd, PG Dip Secondary School Teaching and then a B.Arts in Te Reo Māori

What is your current profession and how long have you been doing it?

I have been a teacher for 24 years 22 of those at Otago Boys High School

Why did you choose the game of basketball?

I played basketball because I was a tall skinny kid with long arms.  I was also good at it and it helped me meet people.

What school did you attend and did you play basketball?

As above we qualified for Nats in Invercargill where we finished 4th.

You are role model for young men and women, what advice do you have for them getting into basketball? 

Play for enjoyment, every opportunity on court is a chance to improve.

What has been the highlight of your career?

Coaching the Tall Ferns in 2016 on their tour of China before the Olympic Qualifying Tournament

Who has been your biggest influence in basketball and why?

All of my coaches and mentors, but mostly Mum.  She made the sacrifices so I could have the opportunities to play.  My wife Leonie, as she supports me to follow my passion.

Have you been invloved with womens basketball before?, if so where do you see it headed in the next few years?

I coached the first 5 years of WBC winning in 2011 finishing 2nd twice and 3rd. JTF’s 2012, 2014, and 2016.  The game is on the rise! The top level Tall Ferns are now being challenged by a growing number of younger players with college and professional experience.  Qualification for the World Championships in Australia is real prospect and they have demonstrated that they can topple the top teams in the world.  Beating Korea last year will need to be replicated in Asia qualifying next year but this group are capable of doing it!

Who is the ultimate women’s basketball player in New Zealand and why?

Carolyn Grey!  Without a doubt the most resilient player to every play the game!  Played in the game when NZ beat Australia.
Currently, Micaela Cocks!  Her work ethic is second to none!  She is constantly working to improve her game and has been at the top of her sport in the Australian WNBL.

If you have one piece of advice to give to your younger self what would it be?

The decisions I have made in my life have made me into the person I am today!  Own your choices and take responsibility for your actions.  The best of these was marrying my wife Leonie!

You are the Head Coach of the mighty Otago Nuggets, how’s the season going so far? 

Super enjoyable.  An opportunity to work with players across the spectrum of experience is awesome!



Published by Jesse Wallis

Basketball Journalist

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