Basketball drops church-goer

An under-17s basketball team has dropped one of his members because he put Sunday morning church ahead of his sport, his family says.

Mosiah MacDonald had expected to be at the national basketball championships in Wellington this week.

Instead his Manawatu basketball teammates are playing without him.

The 15-year-old says his team dropped him because he would attend only one of the two Sunday training sessions, due to his religious beliefs.

Now he’s training alone at a Foxton school.

The MacDonalds are Mormons who believe that Sunday should be a holy day. Hence it says it’s a day reserved for Sabbath practices.

The family will do other activities on Sundays after worship. They’ll even miss the odd service.

But the prospect of a full two months of basketball without church was too much for Mosiah.

Consequently he knows he needs to resolve the conflict between church and sport if he wants to develop his basketball dreams.

He’s been playing basketball since he was 2. He says Steven Adams is one of his heroes.

MacDonald is a potential member of the 25-strong squad national under-16s basketball team.

His dropping from the Wellington tournament may affect his chances.

Beginning of problems

In May the Manawatu’s basketball team coach changed practice times from later on Sunday afternoons to mid-morning and early afternoons.

MacDonald would have attended the afternoon sessions but not the mornings until a couple of weeks before the tournament.

Because he wouldn’t attend all sessions, he says the coach dropped him.

Rather than lose a place, MacDonald tried unsuccessfully to join the Hawkes Bay squad.

Manawatu basketball chairwoman Tess Petley says she’s surprised the MacDonalds and the coach hadn’t found a compromise.

“The decision was not based on the fact he was Mormon. I feel a bit sad if that’s what they are thinking,” she says.

Petley says she and the coach agree that Mosiah is an amazing kid, and they want him to play.

She says she’ll try to work out a way that MacDonald can regain his place.


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News category: New Zealand.

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