Franklin Basketball devastated

Franklin Basketball U13 Boys and Girls have been excluded from taking part in a regional tournament they have participated in over the past three years. A petition with over 1000 signatures and an outcry across social media highlighted the plight of the stranded youths. 

The Post attempted to peel back the layers to reveal what had caused this situation and to see if there was any way to get Franklin Basketball to the tournament.

We were interested in finding out who had created the island which has stranded the U13 basketball players, who face a hopeless situation with less than two weeks to go before the start of a regional tournament they have been excluded from. 

There is no mistaking it, Franklin Basketball has become a force to be reckoned with and has performed extremely well in local and regional tournaments over the last few years. 

The problem the club faces is a technical one, and the fact that they were allowed to play in the tournaments in the past was thanks to Counties Manukau Basketball, who gave them special permission to do so. 

Franklin Basketball is regarded as a club and as a result should not be competing in rep tournaments as Franklin Basketball, but rather should be going to trials and their players should be  playing for Counties Manukau Basketball. This was confirmed by Basketball New Zealand.

The following comments were made by a spokesperson from Basketball New Zealand,  “We are aware that Franklin would like to enter their club teams into the U13 Northern Regional Championships. However these are representative events for our member Associations, not clubs. 

“Players from clubs should trial for their association so they can attain representative status – that is the pathway for all basketball clubs and associations across New Zealand.  

“In essence, Franklin is asking us to treat them differently from all other clubs in New Zealand. That is asking Basketball New Zealand to break the rules, which would set a precedent and invite every club in New Zealand to seek the same.

Franklin teams played in some previous years because Counties/ABSL (Auckland Basketball Services Limited) entered them as Counties/ABSL teams, and in that respect we considered them to be Counties/ABSL ‘rep’ teams. Franklin was never entitled to enter on their own. 

“They have done a great job of growing basketball around Pukekohe. But being a strong club doesn’t mean they can demand a place at representative events. It’s the same for almost every sport. Rugby, for example – the Pukekohe Rugby Club can’t enter their own team alongside a Counties team in a rep tournament.

“Franklin has applied to be an association. They are presenting their proposal to the Basketball New Zealand Board in October and a decision whether to accept their request or not will be made following due consideration.”

The Post contacted Auckland Basketball and Counties Manukau Basketball who both agreed with the statement above and added that they have been trying to resolve this matter for over two years and Franklin Basketball were aware that they were going to be excluded from the tournament.

The Post spoke to Jamie Reddish the General Manager of Franklin Basketball, who expressed his disappointment at the decision and feels that Counties Manukau could have allowed them to play as they have done in the past.

The outcome is not good for the kids as they remain stranded while Franklin Basketball awaits its fate later in October to see if they can become an association and ensure this never happens again.

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