Northlander Pero Cameron has announced his return to Whangārei on March 15 as the guest speaker for the 2018 Conbrio Northland Sports Awards.
Cameron boasts a 17-year national representative career, including NZ Breakers honours, two Olympic Games for the New Zealand Tall Blacks and three FIBA world championships.
He is also among an elite few to be inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame, standing among the likes of NBA greats Yao Ming, Shaquille O'Neil and Michael Jordan.
Raised in Northland, Pero was a key figure in Northland basketball and is one of the greatest players to pull on the New Zealand jersey. He continued to drive New Zealand basketball as the assistant coach for the Tall Blacks.
"Whangārei has always been home for me and I still have family roots here," Cameron said.
"Like any Northlander, I just love coming home and it is really rewarding to give back to the area when I can."
Cameron started his career with the Northland Mobile Marters when he was only 16 and still at Whangārei Boys' High School.
Now living on the Gold Coast, Cameron continued to give back to Northland basketball through coaching clinics started by his mother, Mata Cameron.
Sport Northland chief executive Brent Eastwood said the addition of Cameron was sure to add to the excitement as the awards night drew closer.
"These awards are all about recognising our highest achieving sportspeople and to have someone of Pero's calibre able to come home and support our next generation of achievers is just amazing.
"Many of us will remember Pero turning out for the Mobil Marters in front of a packed Kensington Stadium in the early 1990s through to when the Tall Blacks stunned the basketball world by reaching the semi-finals of the world champs in 2002 and we can't wait to have him back in front of a home crowd once again."
In addition to celebrating achievements from Northland's top sportspeople from 2018, the awards will also focus on locals throughout Northland who make sport happen.
The Northern Advocate "Good Sorts" award will recognise key Northlanders involved in sport.
"While we will be acknowledging the achievements of our players across many codes, an equally important aspect of these awards is the chance to recognise those people behind the scenes who make sport happen in the North," Eastwood said.
"We know that sport in Northland just wouldn't exist without the countless volunteer hours that Northlanders give each and every week and one of the highlights of putting this function together is always the chance to hear the stories of those people who dedicate so much of their own time."
The 2018 Conbrio Northland Sports Awards will be held at the ASB Stadium Kensington on Friday 15 March.