Kiwi Basketball Legend

The man who has been described as the face, voice and name behind New Zealand basketball in the 1970s and 1980s is the latest addition to the impressive line-up of ambassadors

The man who has been described as the face, voice and name behind New Zealand basketball in the 1970s and 1980s is the latest addition to the impressive line-up of ambassadors for the Christchurch Casino Golden Oldies Sports Celebration 2018.

Steve ‘Coach’ McKean’s achievements in more than 45 years in basketball are incomparable and he occupies a special place in basketball history as the coach who took the New Zealand Basketball team to its first ever win over Australia. 

McKean, who has been involved as a Regional Sports Director for Sport Taranaki and secondary schools sports co-ordinator, says he is excited to be involved with Golden Oldies Basketball as it provides a great opportunity to pursue his passion for the sport with basketballers at the other end of the age spectrum. “Basketball is a sport which lends itself extremely well to girls, boys, men and women of all ages, whether they want to play in a fiercely competitive environment or, like Golden Oldies Basketball, in a festival that offers an opportunity to hit the boards with players from home and abroad simply for the love of the game.”

McKean will be at the Christchurch Golden Oldies World Basketball Festival from 1 to 8 April 2018 and is considering his participation options. “I might put together an ‘All Stars’ team and hit the courts as either a coach or player.  Whatever form my involvement takes you can be assured it will be with one eye on the fun and friendship on and off the courts.”

Christchurch Casino Golden Oldies Sports Celebration 2018 event director, Peter McDermott, says it is a real highlight to have a local basketball legend of McKean’s status join the Golden Oldies group of ambassadors. “There is no doubt the involvement of high profile sports people like ‘Coach’ McKean adds some real kudos and value to the event. They contribute their time generously to help us spread the word about the 2018 event in Christchurch and it is exciting for other Golden Oldie participants to know they could be sharing a court, field, pitch or course with a sporting legend.”

McKean joins 14 Golden Oldies ambassadors who represent one of the 10 sports on the programme including fellow basketball ambassador Brendon Pongia, Sir Graham Henry and Todd Blackadder (rugby), Selwyn Maister (hockey), Julie Seymour (netball), Barry Richards, Mike Procter and Rod Latham (cricket), Cheryl Kemp (softball), Jo Edwards and Gary Lawson (lawn bowls), Alan Stroud (football), Sir Bob Charles (golf) and Barry Gardiner (squash).

The Christchurch Casino Golden Oldies Sports Celebration 2018 will be the largest multi-sport event held in Christchurch and is expected to attract 10,000 sports men and women, their officials and supporters.  The event marks the first time all 10 sports will come together in one global festival and is expected to inject a projected $33 million of direct economic benefit into the Canterbury region.