Hokianga times out in style from Jets
Retiring Manawatu Jets veteran basketballer Kaine Hokianga was sent off in style in his final game on the home court at Arena Manawatu in Palmerston North on Friday night.
He led the team out, was given a guard of honour to run on and started the game. More than 2000 people crammed in for the last home game of the season to see off Hokianga, who played 11 years for the Jets, two for Otago and one for Taranaki; 236 games in all.
■ John Loveday from the 1964 Palmerston North Boys' High School first XV rugby team got it spot-on with his pre-match talk to the current first XV on Saturday.
The 2014 first XV kicked Tauranga Boys' College by 47-5. Among the 1964 team having their reunion were two All Blacks, first five-eighth Bob Burgess and lock Loveday. Eight of the 1964 team played first-class rugby and Rod Jepsen played international cricket for Fiji.
■ A book arrived this week, Another Mother's Love, written by Auckland woman Karen Scott who happens to be the partner of former Manawatu All Black Mark Finlay.
Between them they have six children and the book is about how they took in a sad, troubled little 5-year-old boy which led to two years of them as a foster family being tested to the limit. Finlay owns a national chain of childcare centres and they live on a lifestyle block near Auckland.
■ A call came in last week from the New Zealand Olympics Committee and it was former gun Manawatu distance runner Olivia Burne on the blower.
She has completed a four-year journalism degree from Stony Brook University on Long Island, New York. At the age of 22, she felt she was done with athletics and decided to retire. Her best placing in the United States was 12th in the mile at the nationals. Burne won the New Zealand schools senior crosscountry as a Palmerston North Girls' High School seventh former.
■ Palmerston North-domiciled squash player Kashif Shuja had to do it the hard way qualifying in all three New Zealand professional tournaments in the past two weeks.
He had to qualify because he doesn't have his world ranking of old. He still reached the quarterfinals in Palmerston North, the semifinals in Christchurch and only lost in a frantic five-setter in the first round in Southland to top Aussie Rex Hedrick. That featured massive rallies, lasted a staggering 94 minutes and finished 12-10 in the fifth.
■ Commonwealth Games-bound shooter Martin Hunt won't be out of pocket when he heads to Glasgow to represent New Zealand.
At the recent Manawatu Smallbore Rifle Association's businesshouse shoot, he was given a $2000 cheque. The business community entered 100 three-person teams in novice, open and women and over the two nights raised the funds for Hunt.