Rout remembered as 'wonderful gentleman'

David Rout
David Rout
One of Otago basketball's greatest figures is being remembered as a "wonderful gentleman'' on a national scale.

David Rout died in Dunedin on January 1, aged 86.

A life member of both Basketball Otago and Basketball New Zealand, he had a huge influence on both organisations.

His influence extended beyond New Zealand and he was made a member of honour of Fiba Oceania.

However, it was not just his impact as a basketball contributor, but as a person that he was being remembered for.

"A lot of the younger members of the basketball community won't know the great contribution he made, but people of a certain age are really saddened by his loss," BBNZ chief executive Iain Potter said.

"Everyone talks well about him. I haven't heard a bad word expressed about him while he was alive or subsequently.

"Not only as a contributor, but as a genuine, gentle person, he was very well liked.

"So just a lot of sadness at the loss of a great human being."

One of BBNZ's original Hall of Fame inductees, Rout was introduced to the game at Southland Boys' High School in 1945.

He continued to play while at Dunedin Teachers' College, although rugby remained his main focus at that point.

After picking up three concussions playing the sport in England, he decided on his return home to stop playing rugby and become more involved in basketball.

He spent several years in Lower Hutt and Mid Canterbury, before becoming a significant figure with the Otago Men's Basketball Association on his return to Dunedin in 1968.

From then on he had a plethora of high-ranking roles at local, national and international level.

He was elected to the national body's executive in 1974 and was the New Zealand Basketball Federation's president from 1986 to1990.

Potter said one of Rout's most significant contributions came in developing miniball, alongside his good friend, Cedric Cudby.

Now known as Kiwi Hoops, the game was an adapted form of basketball, better suited to young players.

"Those sorts of things have left a lasting, positive and meaningful impact on the game in New Zealand," Potter said.

He also did a lot of coaching and was awarded the Sir Lance Cross Memorial Award for outstanding services to New Zealand basketball in 2002.

He and wife Beckie were married for 64 years and had two children, Neil Rout and Jan Simpson, as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


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