The Sal’s National Basketball League and G.J. Gardner Homes Tauihi are pleased to announce that Basketball New Zealand (BBNZ) has revealed the National Leagues Referee Panel that will officiate NBL and Tauihi games for the 2024 seasons.
The panel features 26 officials selected by the Referee Leadership Group, based on the referees’ performance in the nation’s premiere professional leagues as well as national tournaments across the preceding year. The referee panel is split into four levels, which is based on both their experience and performance across previous seasons.
There are four new additions to this year’s panel, who have succeeded in reaching Level 4 qualification with Kobe Lucas, Blake Rosanowski, Sam McFadzean and Elijah Mareko joining the 2024 panel.
“The game is a lot more physical and a lot faster than local leagues, including National Tournaments. So, there will be a lot of challenges, coming in as a ‘newbie’, but I’m willing to take the challenge, experience and most of all, learn,” said Elijah Mareko.
In recognition of their recent efforts two officials will be promoted to higher levels, with Brad Clive reaching Level 2 and Sheron Martin Level 1, where he will become one of six officials to be established at the highest level of qualification that enables referees to be named as a crew chief for National League games.
Newly promoted Brad Clive is grateful to be elevated and excited to see what 2024 brings.
“Being promoted to Level 2 is something that I take with great gratitude. It’s a testament to the development pathway for officials in New Zealand that has taken a focus over the past few years on preparing young referees for the next stage in their career. The 2024 season will bring new challenges and experiences in the Level 2 space with opportunities to lead and develop which I’m really excited for.”
This season will feature multiple officials approaching career milestones including Callum Welch (77 games officiated), Marty Davison (86) and Sheron Martin (87) approaching 100 games, while two-time NBL official of the year Matt Bathurst (184) closes in on 200.
Of note are the career achievements of three-time NBL official of the year Melony O’Connor, who has officiated 453 games over a career that began in 2002 and is set to overtake Dallas Pickering (462) at the top of the list for NBL games officiated during the 2024 season.
Melony O’Connor says “I’m delighted to be returning to the NBL Panel for 2024. There is of course potential for me to reach a milestone this season but what I most look forward to is being able to share my experience with younger referees.”
“To be one of only three refs to have officiated 400 games is great, but to be one of a limited number of female officials to be involved in the men’s game for over 20 years even more so. Reaching any milestone as a ref isn’t easy, as with all NBL referees I have had to juggle family and full-time employment as well as endure hurtful comments that come with being an official. But the friendships I have made and being part of the game at a high level have made it all worthwhile,” said O’Connor.
The Sal’s NBL season tips off on Wednesday March 27th while the G.J. Gardner Homes Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa will commence play following the conclusion of the Olympics on August 11th, with the schedule being released in the coming weeks.
2024 National Leagues Referee Panel