Dave Rout and his wife Beckie at Ashburton College’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2015. Photo Ashburton GuardianBasketball Mid Canterbury has acknowledged the passing of Dave Rout, a former teacher and great supporter of the game in Ashburton.
Rout’s death on New Year’s Day was a sad one for the country’s entire basketball community – he was a life member of Basketball New Zealand and credited for bringing miniball to New Zealand.
He devoted himself to coaching the game, particularly at secondary school and junior level in Mid Canterbury, Lower Hutt and Otago.
In 2016 he was inducted into the Basketball New Zealand Hall of Fame. He and his wife Beckie were also great supporters of the Tall Blacks and travelled around the world to watch New Zealand compete.
He was 86 at the time of his death.
Rout was introduced to the game at high school and played the sport in Otago in the early 1950s when he attended Dunedin Teachers’ College.
After a stint teaching in Lower Hutt, he came to teach at Ashburton Technical College in 1959. He joined the Mid Canterbury Basketball Association and played club basketball for the Gannets team.
He was a player and coach of the Mid Canterbury senior men’s team and also coached secondary school teams that played in local competitions and regional tournaments.
Rout was also the association delegate on the Ashburton Sports Hall Management Committee, where he became interested and involved in refereeing.
He returned to Dunedin in 1968 and spent another seven decades giving to the sport he loved, as a coach and administrator. He served the New Zealand Basketball Federation from 1986 to 1990, most of the tenure as president.
It was during this time, along with his friend Cedric Cudby, he introduced miniball to New Zealand – a form of basketball adapted to suit junior players, which continues to be loved by young Kiwis today.
Rout was a fitting guest speaker when Basketball Mid Canterbury celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2005 and is remembered to this day by fellow ballers in Ashburton and students he taught.
© The Ashburton Guardian - 18 January 2018