Basketball New Zealand (BBNZ) has today announced a new partnership with New Zealands largest insurance broker, Aon New Zealand.

Aon has committed as the lead sponsor and supporter of the BBNZ National Talent Programme; the under 15, under 17, and under 19 National Championship tournaments; and the New Zealand under 16, 17 and 18 teams that represent the nation abroad, including at international FIBA tournaments.

Basketball New Zealand Chief Executive, Iain Potter, says Aons support has come at a time when New Zealands junior basketball is skyrocketing in participation levels and opportunities. Out of the top ten sports, basketball has by far the fastest growing secondary school participation figures - over a 27% increase in five years. Mr Potter says opportunities for the top young players are abundant, including free tertiary educations and professional athletic environments through US scholarships.

"Right now there are over 120 Kiwis, made up of more than 70 women and more than 50 men, who are playing NCAA scholarship basketball in the U.S. And that figure is steadily increasing.

"US colleges are scouting players here because our young Kiwi basketballers are reaching new levels of talent and thats not just happening by chance. Our junior players are now being developed through excellent programmes backed by committed staff, committed parents and amazing community support.

"Supporting the growth and development of this success was really important to Aon. They want to be able to play a part in every kiwi kids sporting career and basketball is a great fit to help achieve that. Basketball has such a great mix of genders, races, and people from different ages and stages in life, from all across New Zealand, just like Aons clients," says Mr Potter.

Aon New Zealand Chief Executive, Geoff Blampied, agrees and adds that this partnership fits comfortably within their portfolio of community support.

"Aon New Zealand has a strong record of supporting young New Zealanders, assisting them to achieve their potential in the sports of their choosing. Our new partnership with Basketball New Zealand allows us to extend this ongoing, successful legacy and Aon is very pleased to continue to assist New Zealanders achieve their aspirations."

Iain Potter said those aspirations are far reaching, with New Zealand kids looking to be professional players and seize the opportunities that now seem so available to Kiwi kids.

"The junior programmes that Aon have backed provide a critical pathway for aspiring young New Zealand basketball players between the ages of 13 and 18 years.

"The national training programmes in which these kids are entrenched focus on both on and off-court skills, so the pathway helps to develop not only great basketballers, but also great people. Theres a big focus on the importance of academics and fostering a social conscience, so our game is growing great young citizens that represent Kiwis on the world stage," says Mr Potter.

The Basketball New Zealand Under 15, 17 and 19 age-group National Championships have been renamed the Aon Nationals. The next Aon Nationals will be the Under 17 Aon Nationals in Wellington on 12-15 July, and the Under 15 Aon Nationals in Dunedin, 19-22 July.

To follow these tournaments and teams go to and Basketball New Zealands social media channels: @BasketballNZ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Basketball New Zealand