17 Oct 2014

Basketballer to play despite conviction

4:04 pm on 17 October 2014

The New Zealand Breakers basketballer Reuben Te Rangi will play against the Adelaide 36ers tonight despite being convicted of a violent assault today.

Basketballer Reuben Te Rangi.

Basketballer Reuben Te Rangi. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Te Rangi appeared in the New Plymouth District Court today and asked for a discharge without conviction, saying a conviction would compromise his career opportunities overseas.

However, Judge Noel Walsh dismissed his application, saying the violence inflicted by Te Rangi was abhorrent and it would send the wrong message if he granted a discharge.

The Breakers chief executive Richard Clarke said Te Rangi was on the roster tonight and his coaches would assess his mental state before tip-off.

Mr Clarke said the basketballer had gone through the legal process and accepted the consequences of his actions.

"Reuben's a great kid with a huge future, and he made a really, really bad mistake.

"Hopefully it's one of those watershed moments everyone has in their lives where they can chose which direction to go, and we think Reuben's the guy who's going to make all the right choices."

Judge Walsh sentenced him to six months' supervision and 160 hours' community work.

He was also ordered to pay $1000 reparation to his victim for emotional harm.

Reuben Te Rangi of the Breakers goes to the hoop. 2014.

Reuben Te Rangi of the Breakers goes to the hoop. 2014. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

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