Today we are opening our new Nauru page, extended our coverage of the basketball in Oceania to this small island. Nauru is the smallest basketball federation affiliated to FIBA Oceania but the country has been very active in this region, playing in the major tournaments since 1963.
Nauru is a 21 square km island, it's the world's smallest independent republic and the smallest federation affiliated to the FIBA. Nauru achieved independence in 1968. A little more than 13,000 nauruans are living in this small republic. There is no offical capital, the government offices are in Yaren District. This was one of the richest countries in the world in the 1970s and 1980s thanks to phosphates mining but reserves are now depleted and the government faces virtual bankruptcy.
Nauru was one of the first countries affiliated to the Oceania Basketball Confederation and played during the first-ever South Pacific Games in 1963! Thanks to the money from the phospate mining, the country was able to field a men team at the South Pacific Games almost each time. The team recorded its best results in the 1960s (4th in 1963, 5th in 1969) but since the late 1970s Nauru never managed to compete for the medals again. The last international win of the men squad was during the 1997 Mini-Games in Pago-Pago and a 90-62 victory over the Cook Islands in a classification game. Nauru has played its last international tournament in Fiji in 2001 but lost all of its seven games.
But Nauru did won a medal during the first OBC Youth Tournament in Fiji in 1997! Fiji and Tahiti played for the Gold and Nauru claimed the bronze with a 67-60 win over Vanuatu. But the general level of this tournament wasn't very good, a Fiji B team ended 5th and Sanma, a Vanuatu province team, was 6th.
Nauru Women National Team played its first international tournament at the South Pacific Games in 1979 in Fiji, but they only managed to win two games (98-85 over Guam in 1979, 40-36 over Vanuatu in 1991) since that day! This is a great news to see Nauru back in the next Mini-Games in Palau.
The Nauru Island Basketball Association is ruling 23 clubs on the island, 3 outdoor courts and 1 indoor stadium. The NIBA started in 1960 with 5 clubs. In May, the NIBA is holding the Constitution Day Tournament. Last year the competition lasted for 3 weeks, Boe District won the Men title, Ubenide District won the U16 Boys and the Women crowns and Aida District claimed the U16 Girls trophy.
Men NT International records:
2001 - Oceania Tournament (in Fij): 11th / 0-7 record
1999 - South Pacific Games (in Guam): 14th / 0-5 record
1997 - South Pacific Mini-Games (in AmSamoa): 6th / 1-4 record
1991 - South Pacific Games (in PNG): 8th / 0-5 record
1983 - South Pacific Games (in Samoa): 10th / 0-5 record
1979 - South Pacific Games (in Fiji): 10th / 1-6 record
1975 - South Pacific Games (in Guam): 8th / 0-5 record
1969 - South Pacific Games (in PNG): 5th / 2-5 record
1966 - South Pacific Games (in Caledonia): 8th / 0-3 record
1963 - South Pacific Games (in Fiji): 4th / 4-3 record
1997 - OBC Youth Tournament (in Fiji): Bronze medal (won over Vanuatu for the medal) / 3-7 record
Women NT International records:
2001 - Oceania Tournament (in Fiji): 9th / 0-8 record
1997 - South Pacific Mini-Games (in AmSamoa): 8th / 0-5 record
1991 - South Pacific Games (in PNG): 8th / 1-4 record
1983 - South Pacific Games (in Samoa): 8th / 0-5 record
1979 - South Pacific Games (in Fiji): 8th / 1-4 record
1998 - OBC Youth Tournament (in Caledonia): 6th / 0-6 record