There were a number of awards presented at the 2016 Women's Basketball Championship (WBC) post tournament dinner on Saturday night in Porirua.

None were more warmly received than the 2016 Service to Women's Basketball Award bestowed on Mata Cameron.

Mata is of course the mother of Olympians Pero and Jody Cameron but she has accomplished much in her own right in the sport of basketball.

Below is the citation read on the night honouring Mata's achievements.


Mata was born and attended school in Whangarei. She started off playing netball for Whangarei Girls' High School. She met Stuart Cameron and settled down in her home town Portland and brought up her family; Pero, Jodie, Jeanie, Ray and Zeta in and around her sport of choice, Basketball.

Mata is a respected member of basketball community and has played a key part in the growth and evolution of the sport in areas vital to its existence in Whangarei and Northland.

Junior Development in the Te Tai Tokerau Basketball Association is a continuous learning, teaching and grounding skill she executes with "Balls", if you know what I mean. Her presence at the Kensington Stadium demands attention of any baller no matter what age, a survivor of the 'Politically Correct Era'. Mata still finds creative ways to educate new blood in this game we love.

Mata's contribution and focus has revolved around age group athlete exposure and her commitment to the women's programme in Te Tai Tokerau is renowned.

Her accolades include:

Current coach of Te Tai Tokerau Phoenix in WBC
Held various coaching positions with North Harbour, Whangarei and Te Tai tokerau.
Held various coaching positions on overseas tours with NZBBA and Basketball Pacific.
A Basketball Pacific founding member
Te Tai Tokerau Basketball Founding member
Whangarei Junior Development founding member

Mata's love for basketball has involved her family in addition to local, national and international players and coaches.

She has certainly made a significant difference to those around her in her many years of being involved in the New Zealand Basketball Community.

Close to 200 people attending the dinner gave Mata a standing ovation as she received the award. The warm ovation was a fitting tribute to a person who has given so much to New Zealand basketball and in particular women's basketball in the North.

The other Awards presented on the night were for the 2016 WBC:

Championship Winners - Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats
Championship Runners-up - Waikato Wizards
Plate Winners - Capital Flyers
WBC All-Star 5 - Fran Edmondson(Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats) , Jessica Tuki (Taranaki Thunder), Jodi Hikuroa-Jeffrey (Nelson Sparks), Krystal Leger-Walker, (Waikato Wizards), Soraya Umaga-Jensen (Oceana Gold Rush Otago).
MVP - Fran Edmondson - (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats)
Young Player of the Year - Kendell Heremaia, (Waikato Wizards)
Coach of the Year - Lori McDaniel - (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats)
Administrator/Manager of the Year - Ushma Shah (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats)