Past Champions

1997 NBL Champions: Auckland Rebels

The 1997 was the 16th edition of the league and featured 11 teams, down one from the previous year, with the Wellington Saints and Hutt Valley Lakers joining forces. The Auckland Rebels secured the ’97 title and in doing so they became the first team to claim the elusive three-peat, defeating the Nelson Giants in a replay of the 1996 Finals Series.


11 teams contested the 1997 season (final standings): Auckland Rebels (previously Auckland Stars), Nelson Giants, Hawke’s Bay Hawks, Otago Nuggets, North Harbour Vikings, Wellington Saints, Canterbury Rams, Northland Suns, Waikato Warriors, Palmerston North Jets and Taranaki Bears.

Grand Final (Best Of Three Series):

  • Game One: Auckland Rebels (115) defeated Nelson Giants (94) (Referees: Stan Battock & Ken Coulson)
  • Game Two: Auckland Rebels (100) defeated Nelson Giants (82) (Referees: Ken Coulson & Stan Battock)

Season Award Winners:

  • Regular Season Winners: Auckland Stars (19-1)
  • NZ Most Valuable Player: Pero Cameron (Auckland Rebels)
  • Most Outstanding Guard (Keith Carr Trophy): Tony Bennett (North Harbour Vikings)
  • Most Outstanding NZ Guard (John Macdonald Trophy): Phill Jones (Nelson Giants)
  • Most Outstanding Forward (Commissioners Cup): Jim DeGraffenreid (Waikato Warriors)
  • Most Outstanding NZ Forward/Centre (Stan Hill Trophy): Willie Burton (Hawke’s Bay Hawks)
  • Scoring Champion (Alan Bland Memorial Trophy): Jim DeGraffenreid (31.53) (Waikato Warriors)
  • Rebounding Champion (Garry Pettis Memorial Trophy): Daryn Shaw (12.17) (Taranaki Bears)
  • Assist Champion (Dave Taylor Trophy): Mike Foster (Northland Suns)
  • Best Team Free Throws¬†(Nial Forsyth Trophy): Waikato Warriors
  • Rookie of the Year: Brendan Polybank (Palmerston North Jets)
  • Coach of the Year: Tab Baldwin (Auckland Rebels)

All-Star Five:

  • G: Tony Bennett (North Harbour Vikings)
  • G: Adrian Boyd (Auckland Rebels)
  • F: Jim DeGraffenreid (Waikato Warriors)
  • F: Kenny Stone (Auckland Rebels)
  • C: Pero Cameron (Auckland Rebels)



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