Stars mix it up on court for charity

Otago rugby player Harry Taylor, representing team blue, goes for the hoop in the Sport Otago All...
Otago rugby player Harry Taylor, representing team blue, goes for the hoop in the Sport Otago All-Star Showdown, at the Edgar Centre, yesterday. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Who knew pitting a former Highlander against a former Silver Fern could lead to such a great game of basketball?

Two teams of sports stars from basketball, football, hockey and more teamed-up in a charity basketball match to raise money for Sporting Chance at the All-Star Showdown yesterday.

Ultimately, team blue — comprised of the Southern Steel’s Georgia Heffernan, Otago Nuggets’ Darcy Knox and Blackstick Patrick Ward — reigned supreme in a furious 69-52 finish.

Dunedin broadcaster and team blue coach Patrina "P" Roche said the highlight of the event was beating her The Hits FM co-host and team gold coach Callum Proctor.

The chance to mingle over a game of b-ball was a close second.

"For all of the different local sports stars to come together when they’re not basketballers ... they all played incredibly well.

"Some of them had never met before but we just had a really cool team buzz and it was really nice mixing all the codes."

Ms Roche nominated former Otago Nuggets player and "the granddad of the team" Dean Ruske as the MVP of the match.

She hoped the event would be able to be repeated annually.

Sporting Chance is a fund organised by Sport Otago to provide financial assistance to disadvantaged youth and children, and get them involved in sports.

Sport Otago events manager Sophie Russell said the fund often went under the radar, and it was cool to raise money watching incredible New Zealand athletes.

One of her highlights was a last-minute three-pointer from Patrick Ward, 2 seconds before the buzzer sounded.

"All of them just came in with such great spirits and such great attitudes and were actually quite competitive," she said.

"They all, being athletes or ex-athletes, had that game sense and just knew how to read play even though it wasn’t their code which was really cool to see."