Past Champions

1989 NBL Champions: Canterbury Rams

The Palmerston North Jets returned to the league in 1989 after claiming the Conference Basketball League (CBL) title in 1988. They replaced Ponsonby who were relegated to the CBL after their last place finish the previous year. Led by Willie Burton and Tyrone Brown, the Jets returned with a bang, finishing as regular season winners only to fall short in the semi-finals. The Canterbury Rams would go on to claim their second NBL title, defeating Auckland in the Grand Final.


10 teams contested the 1989 season (final standings): Canterbury Rams, Auckland, Palmerston North Jets, Wellington Saints, Hawke’s Bay Hawks, Waikato Warriors, New Plymouth Bulls, Nelson Giants, Waitemata and North Shore.

Grand Final:

Canterbury Rams (91) defeated Auckland (83) (Referees: John Burton & Keith Milligan)

Season Award Winners:

  • Regular Season Winners: Palmerston North Jets (15-3)
  • Most Outstanding Guard (Keith Carr Trophy): Jamie Dixon (Hawke’s Bay Hawks)
  • Most Outstanding NZ Guard (John Macdonald Trophy): Byron Vaetoe (Auckland)
  • Most Outstanding Forward (Commissioners Cup): Willie Burton (Palmerston North Jets)
  • Most Outstanding NZ Forward/Centre (Stan Hill Trophy): Neil Stephens (Wellington Saints)
  • Scoring Champion (Alan Bland Memorial Trophy): Jamie Dixon (42.67) (Hawke’s Bay Hawks)
  • Rebounding Champion (Garry Pettis Memorial Trophy): Willie Burton (13.61) (Palmerston North Jets)
  • Assist Champion (Dave Taylor Trophy): Jamie Dixon (Hawke’s Bay Hawks)
  • Best Team Free Throws¬†(Nial Forsyth Trophy): Hawke’s Bay Hawks
  • Young Player of the Year: John Adie (Auckland)
  • Coach of the Year: Curtis Wooten (Hawke’s Bay Hawks)

All-Star Five:

  • Tyrone Brown (Palmerston North Jets)
  • Willie Burton (Palmerston North Jets)
  • Jamie Dixon (Hawke’s Bay Hawks)
  • Neil Stephens (Wellington Saints)
  • Byron Vaetoe (Auckland)



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