For many people, 2020 will be a year to forget.
But it is already one to remembers for former St Kevin’s College pupil Jack Andrew.
The 19-year-old forward was a member of the Otago Nuggets team that won the 2020 National Basketball League.
It completed a remarkable comeback for the Otago Nuggets, in their first season since 2014.
For Andrew, who was originally targeting next year’s NBL, making this year’s side was an unexpected bonus.
“I guess it came sooner than I anticipated or expected,” he said.
“I was given an opportunity to be part of something special and unique and gained so much experience over the six-week competition.
“It was good to be part of such a formidable team with a great coach and made the step up from school basketball so much easier.”
The Nuggets were bolstered by the likes of New Zealand representatives Jordan Ngatai and Jarrod Kenny, which Andrew said helped his development as a player and person.
“From day one there was a strong sense of mana.
“Jarrod Kenny brought a lot to the team, as did the other senior players. They were always so positive and encouraging.
“I have a lot of respect for these guys and, like the rest of the team, have made lifelong friendships.”
Andrew acquitted himself well on the court, averaging 3.2 points and 1.4 rebounds in his 6.6 minutes per game.
He made 78.6% of his field goal attempts, the highest in the league.
Another former St Kevin’s College pupil, Hamish Robertson, found a way to contribute to the Otago Nuggets’ successful campaign, too, despite picking up a shoulder injury which ruled him out of the tournament.
He quickly turned his attention to providing scouting reports for the team instead.
Robertson is studying for a postgraduate diploma in applied science, specialising in performance analysis, at the Otago Polytechnic, and used those skills combined with his basketball knowledge to help the Nuggets towards glory.