Adrian and Lawrence - A shared passion for basketball
"That game was too quick, Ref"
"It's running time, Coach"
On the basketball court Adrian and Lawrence banter and argue, but it is all about a shared passion for basketball. The sport have brought this Australian from Brisbane and Papua New Guinean from Port Moresby to spend many Sundays in each other’s company and become friends.
When Adrian Weeks landed in PNG to take up his position as Senior Trade Commissioner at the Australian High Commission, one of the first things he did was reach out to the PNG sports Federation to ask if they needed additional basketball referees. The answer was a resounding yes.
Since then, every Sunday, Adrian referees about 6 games (3 men’s and 3 women’s), "I run on average 3km per game" he boasts. In PNG, the game is fast, the players are incredibly athletic and eager to compete.
Adrian has had to adapt his style of refereeing. "I've had to learn to communicate more succinctly and in a sort of shorthand – “stop play” / “player interference” / “ travel”.
Adrian reflects that the game is highly charged but the players have a lot more respect for the referees here.
"Adrian has really been a great help" said Lawrence Lahari, who coaches Saints Basketball Club in his spare time. “he is teaching the young players a lot. Keeps us all disciplined” he laughs.
This is how lasting friendships are formed.