Social Basketball Leagues Christchurch NZ FAQ

About: SBL Christchurch

Our history!

The Christchurch Social Basketball League first started in 1993 as a four team business house mixed league at Wharenui gym. Keith Mair who was the Tall Black and Canterbury Rams coach at the time started the league as a way to pay a koha to one of his Rams bench players! Former Tall Black captain Ralph Lattimore took over the league and ran it for 6 years and it grew to two mixed leagues with 16 teams on Tuesday and Wednesday night. When Ralph left Christchurch he handed the governance of the leagues over to Dave Langrell who had been refereeing in the leagues as a University Student for those six years. 

The league now has an average of 160 teams playing each week across seven gymnasiums and six separate leagues – Four mens leagues and two mixed leagues. 


Fun fact:

Three legend teams: Hanks (morphed into a Tuesday night mens team 10 years ago), M + M and Loose Cannons have played in the league for over 25 years! That is commitment and probably some sore knees and ankles! Rebecca Manawatu (M + M) and Dean Matthews (Loose Cannons) are our two longest tenured players! 


Social Basketball Christchurch supports several charities and has consistently redistributed 10% of the annual profit into local, national and international charitable works.


Those who have been around for a while will know that we have been investing some of the profit of the business into the following:


Canterbury Junior Basketball Coaching Development

Supporting elite coaches and referees of junior basketball in Canterbury.


3D International Aid Program – completed 2019

We have just completed 7 years of child sponsorship for 3 young people who live in extreme poverty on Tibetian Plateu.


Hillmorton High Basketball Program – 2018 to present

 In 2018 we started a partnership to support year 7-13 High School Basketball at Hillmorton High. In 2022 we ran a very successful 20 team Social Basketball Tournaments kindly sponsored by The Accessman – City Branch over a weekend and raised a Total of $7500 to go directly to the Hillmorton High Basketball Program. All of the money raised will be used to pay decent coaches for the school teams and to help support kids from families who are struggling financially to get to be able to play in leagues and go to tournaments!

From 2018 – 2024 we have raised over $40,000 to support kids playing basketball at Hillmorton High School.


Owner: Dave Langrell

Dave is a basketball junkie! After two years in NZ junior Under 20 mens teams he played 200 games in the NZNBL over 15 years – 13 seasons with the Canterbury Rams and 1 season with Hawkes Bay Hawks. He was also part of the Tall Black squad from 1999 – 2002 and played in two tours to the United States and Taiwan. During that time Dave also played four seasons in Ireland and one season in the British Basketball League.

He has been coaching junior basketball since 2008 and has led six Canterbury teams to nationals titles at Under 15 (2023), Under 19, (2008), Under 21 (2009) and Under 23 (2015, 2017, 2018) level. 


We are proud to be a reasonably priced social sports alternative that keeps Canterbury people healthy and active, and a business that thinks outside of ourselves and uses your participation to help others.

Dave Langrell

Owner and Manager of Social Basketball Christchurch