Basketball: From the court to the classroom - Otago Nuggets mentor Brent Matehaere returns to work

It was back to school for teacher Brent Matehaere after guiding the Otago Nuggets basketball side to their maiden NBL title at the weekend.

Having last played for the franchise 18 years ago, Matehaere is delighted to return home with the trophy in hand.

Taking leave from work six weeks ago to coach the Nuggets, he's returned with not only the spoils of victory, but also the title of Coach of the Year.

"Yeah I had Year 10 basketball this morning, first period, which was good," Matehaere tells Newshub. 

"And the boys seemed to be listening a bit better."

Having last played in the NBL in 2014, the Nuggets picked up some valuable stars in this year's draft, with Jarrod Kenny, Jordan Ngatai, and Jordan Hunt.

The team's success is an inspiration for Otago basketball.

"If you can see it, you can dream about it," he says.

"And then obviously young men are going to start to aspire to play for the Nuggets."

Students wore white shoes in tribute to Matehaere, whose suit and white shoe combo became a feature over the season.

The entire team's flying to Dunedin this week to thank supporters and check out of the local sights, including the hairdressers, where Jarrod Kenny and his mullet have a date with a pair of scissors 

"I am starting to have second thoughts and a little bit of regrets," Kenny tells Newshub.

That snip now aimed at raising money to help Dunedin kids get into basketball.