Tim Brown's latest refereeing appointment - to the FIBA World Championship
for Women in the Czech Republic - will send him back to the drawing board to
reconsider his officiating goals.
Meanwhile, fellow official Gavin Zimmerman will step way outside his comfort
zone when he appears at the FIBA U18 European Championship for Men (Division
B) in Israel, July 22-August 1.
"I was really pleased and excited to receive this invitation, and at the
same time a little anxious, having never traveled further than Australia
For Brown (32), the world championship marks a new pinnacle in a career that
has already seen him preside at Olympic and WC qualifying events, as well as
in the Australian NBL.
"This is a huge appointment, not only for me, but also for Basketball New
Zealand and FIBA Oceania," says Brown.
"The appointment to a world championship far exceeds goals that I had in
refereeing, particularly in the short to medium term, and I intend to make
the most of the opportunity.
"After the tournament, I will reassess my goals."
Born across the Tasman, Brown relocated to Auckland seven years ago to be
with now-wife Jaimee, a former referee herself, a move that has probably
accelerated his promotion through the ranks.
"People ask me if we would move back to Australia, but I am happy and
settled in New Zealand, and feel privileged to represent New Zealand on the
world stage," he says.
"[In Australia], this opportunity would not have been available so early on
in my international career."
Zimmerman's progress has been less meteoric, but includes 12 years in our
national league and an IWBF badge to referee wheelchair basketball.
His highest international appointment to date was the 2006 Tall Blacks v
Qatar home series, but after achieving his FIBA license last year, the
Christchurch-based ref took the court for the Oceania U17 championships in
"One of my life goals was to receive my FIBA badge," says Zimmerman (40).
"Now that I have my badge, I suppose my next goal is to perform and do well
in Israel, and hope that further appointments will follow."
Basketball New Zealand chief executive Tim Hamilton is proud that
international recognition of NZ basketball does not end with national teams.
"These appointments are great news for our refereeing community and show the
pathway for young officials, who also dream of performing on the world stage
some day," he says.
Meanwhile, Zimmerman will be in NBL action on Saturday, controlling the
Christchurch Cougars v fico Nelson Giants clash in Christchurch.