This year, we welcomed many new faces and said goodbye to some old ones.
At the end of 2017, the Burnside family said goodbye to Bobby Morris, a highly respected coach and Kirsty Sharapoff, long time manager, who had been an awesome physio and anchor for the team’s late success since the origins of Burnside Basketball.
We welcomed a new head coach, former professional player Konrad Tota who has had 14 years of experience playing in Europe, Canada and the UAE. We also welcomed back a Burnside legend as assistant coach, former captain, Kyle Louis. Seven players returned to the team from last season to fill the big gaps the four Year 13s had left behind at the end of last season. The rest of the team were made up of fresh potential looking to get their first taste of senior basketball.
The season proved tough for the boys as injuries and obstacles in the year meant that their unimaginable four year unbeaten run in the CBA U20 grade had ended. This made for a shaky first half of the season as the boys were yet to gel as a team and find their groove.
The team only played 2 home games in the Thompson Trophy premier schools competition due to maintenance work on the beloved Hunter Gym. Nonetheless the boys kept pushing through despite the sudden departure of Cameron Malone, a crucial player for the team. Towards the back end of the season, the boys went on to pull off some impressive wins to finish the season going into the South Island tournament.
At the start of September, the team flew down to the deep south of Invercargill for the Zone 4 AA Premiership (South Island Tournament). The boys were placed in a relatively “unknown” pool of teams where they won two out of their five games in pool play having narrowly lost two games where by winning one of them would’ve meant a quarter final spot. When the team went on to face familiar foes, Christ's College in Nicholas “trashby” Ashby's last ever game for Burnside Basketball, the boys came back with a comfortable win, pulling away in the fourth quarter. In their final game of the season, the boys came up against Waitaki Boy's High School, and fell just short, losing by a heartbreaking 1 point. The team placed 14th overall in the tournament. This final game farewelled Isaiah Morris, Nathan Louis, Jayden Cameron and Tod Cvetanov as we wish them the best in their future endeavors.