Despite the shift from 2022 to 2023, the basketball momentum has not slowed down in Oceania with competitions, Basketball For Good programs, and major announcements already flooding the new year.
From November 21 to 26, 2022, the FIBA U15 Oceania Championship was hosted in Mangilao, Guam. This event is one of the first opportunities for young players, such as Ethan Sablan, to perform on the international scene and to get acquainted with other talents outside their respective countries. The defending champions, Australia made it back-to-back gold in both of the men’s and women’s competitions after beating the Kiwis in both finals, whereas Guam and Samoa walk on the third step of the podium.
Aligned with FIBA’s strategic priority of increasing the role of females at all levels of the game, Oceania has seen a big leap in the number of female head coaches within its competitions in 2022. Every woman’s team at the FIBA Under 15 Oceania Championship had a female head coach in a historic achievement for the region, whilst 75 percent of the teams at the FIBA Melanesian Cup 2022 were led by a woman, with another three at the FIBA Polynesian Cup 2022.
The FIBA Melanesian Cup 2022 was also led for the first time by an all-female commentary and media team, with the support of the Women in News and Sports Program.
Basketball for Good programs across Oceania play an integral role in achieving various development outcomes, including the importance of good health and well-being. With the support of the Australian Government through Team Up, the Bula Hoops program in Fiji introduces basketball to local children. Adam and Gibella Maiki also benefited from a similar program in Papua New Guinea and ended up representing their country at the FIBA U15 Oceania Championship.
In December, FIBA Oceania had the final board meeting of 2022 to discuss and reflect on the year and how 2023 is shaping up. A new partnership with the Australian Government through PacificAus Sports was announced. This collaboration aims to boost basketball high performance capabilities within the Oceanian Federations towards the 2023 Pacific Games taking place in the Solomon Islands. The local Basketball Federation has tipped off the year with several Technical Courses for Coaches to upskill basketball coaches at a community and national level ahead of the pinnacle event.
Papua New Guinea will host the 2023 FIBA U17 Oceania Championships from October 2 to 7. PNG is back to business as it is the first major FIBA event held in the country since the global pandemic.
After hosting the record-breaking FIBA Women’s World Cup 2022, FIBA recently announced that Australia will also welcome the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2023 in Sydney from June 26 to July 2, 2023.
At the end of February, the Guam men’s national team flew to Mongolia to compete for the top spot of their group in the FIBA Asia Cup 2025 pre-qualifiers, while Australia and New Zealand took part in the last window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers.