OUR COACH

GEORGE TAPAATOUTAI

Managing Director & Club Head Coach

I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and moved to New Zealand back in February 2014.  For as long as I can remember, basketball has always been a part of my life. As an undersized guard at 6"0" in high school, I had to be more innovative and efficient in the game.  I graduated from high school with All-American honours in the sport.  My journey continued into college where I played one year for Stanford University; a NCAA Division I university from the PAC-12 Conference. After one year, and after deciding to commit to the fulfillment of my chosen major, I transferred to another NCAA Division I school in Cal Poly on a full scholarship where I played my remaining years of college basketball. After college, and after seeing all the opportunities (coupled with academics) basketball has given me, I decided to "pay it forward" and begin my coaching journey.

I was a coaching aid for my Alma Mater, where for two years I mentored and worked with young athletes transitioning into collegiate level basketball. I then moved back home to the San Francisco Bay Area, and was the head coach for a high school varsity basketball team in my hometown for the next 10 years. In those 10 years, we made 6 state playoff appearances  in our division.  After deciding to take a break from the game, I took a few years off from basketball to focus on my corporate career, which led me to New Zealand in 2014.

After two years here in Auckland, my relentless passion for coaching and mentoring youth pushed me back into coaching and the game. During my time at Auckland Basketball Services Limited, I coached and mentored youths of all ages, spanning from primary to secondary school.  In 2017, I took on the role as ABSL's Club Development Manager and Lead for the Central Cougars basketball club. In 2019 I got back into the high school space as the Head Coach for the Mount Roskill Grammar School girls premier basketball team.  In the same year,  I moved into the representative space as a head coach for Basketball Auckland.  My time here in Auckland has reminded me why I valued this sport so much. I wanted to use the game to teach the youth of today lessons and values that extend beyond the sport. Otherwise, why coach or mentor someone else at all!

I created Baseline Basketball to help provide an opportunity for kids of all ages and abilities to play basketball in a safe and nurturing environment within the local community. Despite years of coaching in the high school and collegiate space, my newfound passion is grassroots basketball. I believe that grassroots is the key to establishing a good and proper foundation in any sport.  Fundamentals are important. But paired with creativity, ingenuity, and the right environment, it can be transformed into something special.  And I hope that anyone that walks through our doors leaves the gym learning lessons and values they can apply to everyday life; not just basketball.

 
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