Lincoln University Scholarships – Q&A with Head Coach Tyla Harrison-Hunt

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Tyla Harrison-Hunt is the current Head Coach of the program at Lincoln University where hoops and study collide. In this article he talks on the opportunities on being a student athlete in New Zealand.

What is your full name and role at LU?

He uri tenei no ngai Tahu, no Ngāti Porou, no Te Atiawa hoki. Ko Tyla Harrison-Hunt tōku ingoa.

I’m the current Head Coach of the Lincoln Men’s and Women’s coach at Lincoln University.
I also run a Skills Training business in Christchurch called Crossover Coach.

Why coaching?

I was a pretty decent shooter in school and club and as most coaches do – they get injured. I decided to take up coaching and still be around the game as much as I could and my big break was being able to assist Nat Visger at BBO for the U23 Nationals. Since then, I’ve taken up many roles and now in the capacity of training NBL talent in skills.

What does your role involve at LU?

I’m very lucky to be a part of the program where we have the capacity to offer our athletes the very best of service and basketball. I coach both premier teams per week, run scouting reports, plan and action all teams tactics and focus on the day-to day administration along with our basketball manager. I also scout new and upcoming players and try to keep in the loop in all things basketball in Aotearoa.

What does Lincoln University offer for young basketball talent in NZ?

Not only does Lincoln offer quality study options with a full scholarship, a great atmosphere in the halls and quality of life down south. A student athlete gets more; Every year, we offer a select group of students the opportunity to gain a world-class academic qualification while developing their sporting abilities to a professional level. The value of the Sports Scholarship is $6,000 for one academic year, plus the opportunity to be part of our specialist athlete education programme. This includes the following: Academic Support (careers advice, inclusive education i.e. supporting students with disability, injury or illness and day to day assistance with academic and scholarship advisors), Athletic Support (Nutrition Coaching, Strength and Conditioning), A high performance athlete management system to monitor training loads and maximise training and recovery (Metrifit), sport specific support (skill acquisition i.e. technical and tactical), individual performance plan and coaching education. I would say we are right up there with a division 2 American college. Lastly, we are building a brand new $10 million high performance centre where we will offer the best in sports specific technology which will be finished in 2021.

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What is the Canterbury and International competition like?

Basketball in Canterbury is an amazing competition to be a part of. The league we are a part of is the Premier Mens and Women’s competitions and the under 23 competition. Mens premier league has 8 teams, Women’s have 4 teams and the under 23 competition have 9 teams. The league is full of current and ex-NBL/WNBL players and young talent. All games are played on Saturdays.

As a student athlete, you also get a chance of being a part of 3×3 and 5×5 that travel overseas. Just last year, we traveled to Tokyo for 3×3, China for the women and travel across the country occasionally for uni games.

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What is the normal schedule for a student athlete?

A students week in a nutshell looks like this:
3 x team S & C sessions
1 x sports psychology session
1 x nutrition appointment
2 x team trainings
2 x skills sessions
2 x games for men
1 game for women
20 hours of study/lectures

What’s the culture like at LU?

As the LU Rams, we have a mantra of ‘We Charge Together’. We have a great crew and the team are amazing to coach. All of the players are competitive, yet, positive and all want to learn. We have team building sessions, get out and about and love some banter.

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What is the Women’s game like in Christchurch?

As a massive advocate for women’s growth in New Zealand, I want to see the clubs expand. It’s always been an uphill battle in this country to offer the equivalent of the mens league to the ladies but I think we are punching above our weight in Christchurch. LU has always been really strong in their culture of winning games whether it be domestically or internationally. We currently have 5 wildcats in the team. So, if you would like to expand your game, play for LU and maybe the Wildcats, come through!

What style of play do Lincoln play?

We run a very fast and intense style, run and gun offense with a lot of 3 and D. We all get touches in the game. We average around 90-100 points a game and are defensively aggressive. Plenty of quick hitters and team basketball down here!

Who are the staff?

Tyla Harrison-Hunt- Head Coach- Skills Trainer of Crossover Coach
Hoani Smith- Strength Coach & Basketball Manager – NZ U18 Strength Coach of NZ Māori Rugby
Joshua Thompson- Skills Coach- NZ 3X3 U19 Mens Coach
Seddon Smith- Mens U23 Coach- Ex Cashmere Basketball Coach 2019
James Lissaman- Code Manager- Competitions Manager CBA

How do I find out more?

Go to or throw us a DM at lincoln_university_basketball.

Go to or throw us a DM on Instagram – @lincoln_university_basketball

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#BuildTheCulture 🏀

Published by Jesse Wallis

Basketball Journalist

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