Opportunity too good for Ludlow to decline

Justin Ludlow
Justin Ludlow
The chance to take a risk drew Justin Ludlow to Basketball Otago.

Now the opportunity to take another one has lured him away.

Ludlow has resigned from his role as general manager of the organisation. His last day will be August 6.

A move back to the hospitality industry awaits. He declined to say where he is heading as it is yet to be formally announced.

He admitted there was a tinge of sadness to be leaving Basketball Otago.

However, he feels sometimes opportunities come along that you have to have a go at.

"I think when I came to Basketball Otago I said every now and then you've got to take a risk and sort of live and die by that," he said.

"I'm really excited. This is a really good opportunity that's fallen in front of me.

"I don't want to lay wondering in a few years' time and think maybe I should've had a crack at that.

"I'm going back to an industry I've worked in before and still have a passion for."

The decision had been a family one and allowed him, wife Jo and their four daughters to remain in Dunedin.

Ludlow began at BBO in February 2016, following a financial crisis which left it close to liquidation.

Since then, it has rebuilt its way to stability while experiencing record participation numbers.

While that had been pleasing, Ludlow was quick to acknowledge there had been plenty of contributors to that.

He said the board had been great in the governance space, while the team he had in the office were similarly influential from an operation standpoint.

Alongside that he said there had been many other people he had enjoyed working with.

Seeing how many people had been impacted by the sport was a "massive highlight".

That included players, but also coaches, manager, referees and others in off-court roles.

The Otago Gold Rush's 2018 Women's Basketball Championship title had been equally satisfying.

He felt the sport was now in a good place both on and off the court.

However, that was not without its challenges.

Finding court space to cater for the increasing popularity would be one of the biggest issues to face in the coming years.

He is not closing the door on being involved with the sport again. His face will certainly continue to be seen among the basketball community and he will continue to support the sport.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens with the Nuggets and the Gold Rush - I'll be at every home game next year.

"It's going to be great to sit in the stand with my [family] and support the team.

"Just continue to watch the sport grow and continue to flourish.

"It's definitely in good hands, so I'll be around."

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