Past Champions

2003 NBL Champions: Wellington Saints

The Wellington Saints broke a 15 year drought as they claimed the 2003 NBL championship, their fifth on total. The 2003 season will also be remembered for the introduction of a league-wide MVP award winner, thus allowing imports the opportunity to be recognised. David Cooper of the Manawatu Jets was the first recipient of the award. Ten teams contested the ’03 season, with the Taranaki Mountainairs re-entering the league after a three year hiatus.


10 teams contested the 2003 season (final standings): Wellington Saints, Waikato Titans, Manawatu Jets, Auckland Stars, Nelson Giants, Hawke’s Bay Hawks, Otago Nuggets, Taranaki Mountainairs (previously Taranaki Oilers & Stormers), Canterbury Rams and Harbour Heat (previously Harbour Kings).

Grand Final:

Wellington Saints (97) defeated Waikato Titans (88) (Referees: Stan Battock, Ken Coulson & Gavin Whiu)

Season Award Winners:

  • Regular Season Winners: Waikato Titans (16-2)
  • Most Valuable Player: David Cooper (Manawatu Jets)
  • NZ Most Valuable Player: Dillon Boucher (Waikato Titans)
  • Most Outstanding Guard (Keith Carr Trophy): Lindsay Tait (Auckland Stars)
  • Most Outstanding NZ Guard (John Macdonald Trophy): Lindsay Tait (Auckland Stars)
  • Most Outstanding Forward (Commissioners Cup): David Cooper (Manawatu Jets)
  • Most Outstanding NZ Forward/Centre (Stan Hill Trophy): Dillon Boucher (Waikato Titans)
  • Scoring Champion (Alan Bland Memorial Trophy): John Whorton (29.3) (Canterbury Rams)
  • Rebounding Champion (Garry Pettis Memorial Trophy): John Whorton (16.5) (Canterbury Rams)
  • Assist Champion (Dave Taylor Trophy): George Le’afa (6.2) (Wellington Saints)
  • Best Team Free Throws¬†(Nial Forsyth Trophy): Auckland Stars
  • Rookie of the Year: Adrian Majstrovich (Hawke’s Bay Hawks)
  • Coach of the Year: Mike McHugh (Wellington Saints)
  • Administrator of the Year: Janie Granger (Nelson Giants)

All-Star Five:

  • G: Paul Henare (Hawke’s Bay Hawks)
  • G: Lindsay Tait (Auckland Stars)
  • F: Dillon Boucher (Waikato Titans)
  • F: Link Abrams (Taranaki Mountainairs)
  • C: David Cooper (Manawatu Jets)



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