IT was a special weekend for Southland Shark’s physiotherapist Hayden Sproat.
Not only did he watch his team have a comfortable victory over the Mike Pero Nelson Giants, but he also had someone important cheering him on.
His son Cooper (2) attended his first basketball game and, seemingly, brought with him good luck for the players.
The SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks beat the Mike Pero Nelson Giants at ILT Stadium Southland with a 101-92 win on Sunday.
With a Michael Jordan jersey and shark face paint, Cooper attracted attention at the Shark tank before the game.
Mr Sproat had been working with the Sharks for about six years.
“It is awesome to have him here. Basketball has always been my passion so it is great to share this moment with him.”
He believed his son would also have a future within the sport.
“Cooper loves basketball. He has been doing some shooting at home.” he said.
Cooper’s grandfather Wayne McKay travelled from Christchurch to be part of the event.
“I couldn’t miss his first game. He is so happy.”
Meanwhile at the court, the Southland Sharks remained unbeaten on home soil this season.
The Sunday night victory put the team in fourth place in the National Basketball League championship behind the Wellington Saints, Auckland Huskies and Hawke’s Bay Hawks.
One of the crowd’s favourite players Dom Kelman-Poto scored the first two points for the home team in less than 10 seconds.
From there, the Sharks kept the lead the whole game.
However, it is worth noting the Giants were playing their third game in four days.
Brayden Inger was the Sharks’ top scorer with 27 points. Dom Kelman-Poto and Courtney Belger contributed 22 and 19 points respectively.
The Sharks’ next two games are away Taranaki Airs on Saturday and Manawatu Jets on Sunday.
The Sharks’ next home game is on June 4 against the Wellington Saints.