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Roncalli College Year 12 pupil Reagan Ashley has a busy few months as he embarks on a promising career as a basketball referee.

by Alexia Johnston

Timaru teenager Reagan Ashley has scored himself a spot on court refereeing one of New Zealand’s top basketball leagues.

Ashley (16) has been selected to referee at the New Zealand women’s basketball championships next month – an honour he was looking forward to.

“I’ve got a game in Christchurch on the 26th of June between the two finalists from last year, the Canterbury Wildcats and Taranaki Thunder.”

The year 12 Roncalli College pupil has been a ref for longer than he has played the sport.

“I’ve played for three years and been a referee for about six or seven years,” he said.

“I just wanted to do something that was different to playing and got thrown in the deep end.”

That “deep end” has already resulted in a range of top tournaments, including a game between the Canterbury Wildcats and Otago Gold Rush in Timaru, on April 22.

Ashley also attended the Mel Young Basketball Classic, an Easter tournament hosted in Tauranga where he was “awarded” the under-17 finals game.

He travelled to Australia in January for the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup, which was held in both Albury and Wodonga.

He refereed the under-16 grade and was awarded the chance to ref the play-off for fifth and sixth place.

Last year he attended the secondary schools national tournament where he refereed the single A play-off for bronze.

Next month Ashley will referee the under-19 nationals in North Harbour from June 2-5 and has been selected to referee the under-17 nationals in Wellington in July.

The women’s championships finals weekend is also on his calendar of referee duties in July.