Superior intelligence was the key as Napier Boys' High School Old Boys won the inaugural Patrick O'Brien Memorial charity basketball match in Hastings tonight.

"Yes I didn't have to do a thing ... those blokes know it all," NBHS Old Boys coach Paul Trass said after the Sky Blues 57-49 win against the Hastings Boys' High Old Boys in front of a capacity crowd in the Hastings Sports Stadium.

The match was played to celebrate the life of former HBHS player and Hawke's Bay Hawk Patrick O'Brien, Hawke's Bay's 2019 Person of the Year, who was one of two people killed in a car crash on the Hawke's Bay Expressway in November.

It also doubled as a fundraiser for the Te Anahera O Te Rangi Charitable Trust which 2017 world kickboxing champion O'Brien and wife Theresa formed in memory of their late daughter.

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Trass agreed the HBHS team missed the services of their coach and his long-time rival at this level, Curtis Wooten, who was ill.

"Look at the intelligence I had in this squad. Puke [Lenden] coaches the St John's College team in Hamilton, Regan [Spooner] will take over from Curtis at Hastings Boys' this year and the Davies brothers [Dwayne and Damian] coach at Napier Boys' High School," Trass said.

His team trailed 7-0 early in the first quarter. However the visitors did well to level the scores at 15-all at the end of the first quarter.

The Sky Blues led 28-21 at halftime and 45-38 after the third quarter.

Plenty was expected of former HBHS and Hawks forward Arthur Trousdell who retired from top club play in Melbourne only last year.

However the Davies brothers led an impressive defensive effort on Trousdell who finished the match with nine points.

Dwayne Davies scored a game-high 15 points and his haul included two three pointers. His brother Lenden and former Hawks guard Aidan Daly also sunk three pointers.

Daly and his deputy Daniel Evans more than coped when the hosts attempted to speed the game up.

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Point guard Reece Tuala-Fata, who is eyeing a Hawks recall this season, 12 years after he last played for the NBL side, top scored for the Akina lads with 12 points.

Thomas Bartlett sunk three pointers for the hosts, while Paul Tuala-Fata, Paniora Araia and Herman Ah Kiong sunk one each.

NBHS were more successful from the free throw line with nine from 13 attempts while their hosts could only sink seven of their 15 attempts.

"This will become an annual event and we obviously need to do a lot more work before the next one," O'Brien's older brother, Bali-based Henare said afterwards.

"Pat obviously wouldn't be happy with the result. But he would have been rapt with the turnout and the way we are carrying on the work he did particularly around the prevention of suicide."

In a halftime chat to the crowd he urged people to look after one another and if they see friends feeling down don't be afraid to tap them on the shoulder at least three times to remind them they are there to help in any way possible.

Theresa O'Brien was also delighted with the capacity crowd.

"I knew it would be big but this is unbelievable. All of these players are from a pretty special era and come from a strong basketball community which came together for the occasion."

Her brother Sam Carter produced the Patrick O'Brien Memorial Trophy which her oldest son Tyson presented to NBHS Old Boys captain Jamie Henare. There was a saying on the trophy which Tyson's father often used when helping those in need.

It read: Pay attention to the good. Focus on the positives and appreciate the greatest gift given. The gift of life itself.

The 10th edition of the Battle for Life charity boxing event which Patrick and Theresa have organised since it began will be staged in the Hastings Sports Stadium on March 21.

Leading scorers:
NBHS Old Boys 57 (Dwayne Davies 15, Puke Lenden 10, Aidan Daly 9), HBHS Old Boys 49 (Reece Tuala-Fata 12, Thomas Bartlett 11, Arthur Trousdell 9). 1st quarter: 15-all. HT: 28-21. 3rd quarter: 45-38.