NBL pre-season match for Hawera
Monday, March 03, 2014
For the first time in over ten years, Hawera will play host to a National Basketball League level game, when the Good Home Taranaki MountainAirs meet the Breakers Manawatu Jets at the TSB Hub on Sunday 16th March, in a pre-season match.
“This will be our first game of the year in Taranaki and will be a good work-out for the team, to see where we’re at,” says new coach Daryn Shaw.
With almost an entirely new team from the 2013 team that finished sixth in the competition, Shaw and assistant coaches, Willie Banks and Steve “Coach” McKean, have been training the wider squad since November, often with four sessions a week.
“This year we have focused on utilising and developing the basketball talent that already exists in the region,” says Shaw. “Nine of our twelve players, are locals.”
Captain of the side will be Aaron “Aunty” Bailey-Nowell (32), who was awarded Most Valuable Player at the recent Pacific Basketball Championships, playing for the New Zealand Maori side, which won the tournament.
Featured in the Good Home MountainAirs will be Hawera local, Aled Jones (20), who represented New Zealand in the U20s team in 2010, and was accepted in to the Luxemburg Basketball Academy in 2011. Last year he was awarded a basketball scholarship to Lincoln University, and is taking a break from his studies for the first half of this year to focus on his first NBL season.
“I am really excited about the season ahead,” says Jones. “I want to see how I do against the best basketballers in the country.”
Stratford High School student, Quintin Bailey (16) will be in the squad and may even get some game time, if the team’s two imports haven’t yet arrived.
With ex-Stratford player, Jeremiah Trueman, fronting for the Jets, there will be plenty of local talent for the crowd to get behind.
South Taranaki high school teams will recognise a couple of players from their Monday night games, with current New Plymouth Boys’ High students, Dane Brooks and Beauden Giddy, also in the MountainAirs team.
Tip-off is at 1pm on Sunday 16th March at TSB Hub in Hawera.
Adults $10, children $5, families $25
This will also be the last opportunity to get an Early Bird Season Pass for the Good Home MountainAirs’ NBL season, which runs from 6 April until 22nd June at TSB Stadium.