In Memory Of Justin Toebes

Justin Toebes

We celebrate and commemorate the man who has given so much of himself to the Wellington basketball community. Justin Toebes sadly passed away yesterday morning after a long battle with Motor Neuron disease and as we perused the courts at the ASB Sports center, watching the young and old play the game we love, we can't help but express some emotions as we raise a toast to the man who championed a vision we are all benefiting from today.

A life member of the Wellington Basketball Association, Justin was elected onto the WBA Board in 1994 and in 1995, appointed President, a position he proudly held for 10 years and continued to serve the Wellington Basketball community through to 2012. 

For those of you too young to appreciate what Justin represented, you will come to learn through social discussion and interaction that he was a very attentive, intuitive and generous person not only to the basketball community but also as a respected Law professional. Justin worked tirelessly, pushing for progression in our sport, supporting Basketball New Zealand's endeavours over the years to provide robust infrastructure, agile capabilities and support to flex those advantages across our communities and on the international stage. 

Sport in of itself we both believed is the new way this planet will evolve in conversations around diversity, inclusion and the advancement of human potential. In simple terms, we viewed Basketball as an “enabler” where the development of our youth starts with education and their ability to interact without prejudice, training their minds to be best prepared. A graduate of Law from Victoria University, Justin proudly supported our education initiative and we will continue to honour him in this space.

Inducted into the Basketball New Zealand Hall of Fame in May of this year, Justin is both a Life Member of Basketball New Zealand, Wellington Basketball and for over 30 years serving as their Treasurer and Chairman, Justin alongside close friend Nick Mills, led the Saints to be the most successful Basketball franchise in New Zealand's NBL history.

Kua hinga te tōtara o Te Waonui a Tāne - the tōtara in the great forest of Tāne has fallen
On behalf of the Board, staff and members of the Wellington Basketball Association, we extend our sincerest condolences to Justin’s whānau, and the Wellington Saints family.

Talosia ia faamanuia oe ma lou aiga e le alii. Manuia lau malaga. May the good Lord bless and comfort you and your family at this time. All the best on your travels Justin.

Your WBA.