What is your full name and where are you from?
Dillon Boucher – Born in New Plymouth and lived in a small town called Bell Block and moved to Papatoetoe when I was 14 and then moved to the Albany about 10 years ago.
What is your current profession and how long have you been doing it?
I am a sports/business consultant, but still do some personal basketball coaching. I have been a consultant for around 9 months.
Why did you choose the game of basketball?
I fell in love with the game at a young age and just loved the skill involved in the game.
What school did you go? Please tell us about your basketball experiences.
Bell Block Primary School – All of my primary and intermediate years and this is where I picked up the game of basketball playing in my older brothers team.
Spotswood College (New Plymouth) – For my 3rd form year (Year 9)
Papatoetoe High School – Form 4-7 (Year 10-13) Although we didn’t play in the Premier Grade in Auckland we battled it out in the Senior A competition in Counties.
You have been considered to be one of the best defensive players on the planet in your prime. Does defense still win games and what are your views on the modern defensive game?
100% Defense still wins games! Unfortunately defense is not as sexy as offense but is still the platform from which a team builds their offense from. If you play good defence it usually leads to easy offense at the other end.
You are role model for young men and women, what advice do you have for them getting into basketball?
Try it out for yourself and you will fall in love like I did. It is a game that you can play at any age and any level. If you have a ball and a hoop you can play on your own, not many other sports are like that. Also it is a sport where if you practice it regularly you see massive improvements quickly.
What has been the highlight of your career?
I have been fortunate to be on some great teams and had some good successes throughout my career. Probably for me it was the Olympic Games as I dreamed as a kid that I would one day go to the Olympics and when I got the chance to walk the opening ceremony in Athens in 2004, that was special.
Who has been your biggest influence in basketball and why?
For my toughness it would have to be my 2 older brothers and our backyard battles as kids made me resilient. For support it is hard to go past my Mum and Dad for always getting me to training, paying fees and encouraging me. For sacrifice it would have to be my wife Nikki and my 4 kids, Jayden, Kenz, Sisi and Kass. They sacrificed so much to allow me to follow my dream for so many years and were always encouraging me to keep playing. They are also the ones who kept me grounded and humbled when I got ahead of myself!
How can we grow our womens game in this country?
By the former players giving back to the game like so many already are. By keeping it relevant and talking about it. Showcasing the wonderful young talented women we have playing the game in this country. The only way people know about women’s basketball is if people post on social media and then the word spreads. Profiling these women like you are doing on your site already is a great way for people to know who they are.
Who is the ultimate women’s basketball player in New Zealand and why?
I think for me it would be Megan Compain as she not only played in a couple of Olympics but also the WNBA which is the pinnacle. But watching the dominance of Charlisse Leger-Walker in high school games I think she will carry the flag for a long time!
If you have one piece of advice to give to your younger self what would it be?
It would be to get in the gym and train more.