It wasn’t long ago when Molly Cockburn was working out in her high school gym that she saw a glimpse of what her future could look like.

In her spare time between school, sport and other activities, Cockburn could be found putting up extra shots in preparation for the upcoming North Canterbury basketball season. Sometimes she had the gym to herself. Other times, she shared the court with fellow North Canterbury native and WNBL forward Mary Goulding. The times that they trained together presented opportunities for the Bendigo Spirit star to help Cockburn with her shooting, along with other things…


The lights were bright in South Auckland these past couple weeks as the Sal’s 18IN18 Competition took center stage at Pullman Arena. The new, condensed version of the NBL Women’s season not only continued to shed light on the growth of basketball in Aotearoa, but did so by bringing some of the country’s top talent (both youth and veteran), into the spotlight. Even though the likes of Tall Ferns Kalani Purcell and Penina Davidson were absent due to WNBL commitments in Australia, all six teams were filled young women who are part of New Zealand’s next generation of talent.

In…


The Legacy Series is dedicated to sharing the stories of prominent former women’s basketball players from New Zealand who apply their experiences as elite athletes with their long-standing passion for basketball, to build and further opportunities for aspiring players around the country.

For those who follow New Zealand basketball, Justine Reed is more than likely a familiar face in the gym.

A prominent figure in the Basketball New Zealand community, Reed enjoyed a successful playing career both domestically and abroad in the United States, where she experienced first-hand how to become an elite athlete in her chosen sport. …


Basketball New Zealand recognized another group of the country’s elite talent with the announcement of its 2020 junior national team rosters.

The teams were announced via video earlier today by head coaches Hernando Planells (Junior Tall Ferns) and Aaron Fearne (Junior Tall Blacks), despite the harsh reality that some of these players may be unable to participate due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Junior Tall Ferns squad at the 2018 Asia Cup. Photo courtesy of Lacey Lowdown

Each team was set to play in a tournament later this year: the Junior Tall Ferns in the Four Nations International in China, while the Junior Tall Blacks in the Albert Schweitzer International in Germany. …


Being active has always been in Vilisi Tavui’s bloodlines.

Movement was always key for the Fiji native, whether it was keeping up with her siblings or pursuing her love of sport. But Tavui almost didn’t pursue basketball. In fact, the netball star didn’t step on the basketball court until she was 16 years-old. While other kids were practicing layups, she dreamt of feeding another type of ball to her teammates.

But her sporting trajectory changed during her high school years — one that ultimately led the Nausori, Fiji native to represent her country on the hardwood, then put her on…


High school basketball continues to thrive in New Zealand as we see the player participation continue to rise. In turn, the interest from local talent has generated a pipeline of aspiring athletes who hope to play basketball in America after finishing their secondary school careers.

The Class of 2020 is no different, as the talent pool continues to impress American colleges, resulting in collegiate offers for young women throughout Aotearoa. A handful of signings so far have been introduced and facilitated by Chris Vaughan, the founder of Lead Scholarships, a resource that helps high school girls in New Zealand secure…


Amy West’s dream of dawning a New Zealand singlet spans for as long as she can remember.

Except her original plan didn’t include it taking place on the hardwood, let alone for a sport that she didn’t pick up until the age of 15.

From afar, West’s basketball career is unfolding similar to something that could be championed as an ideal scenario: she’s already been part of two tours with the Sky Sport Tall Ferns and is now living her dream as a collegiate athlete at Saint Mary’s College of California. …


When Fordham University women’s basketball coach Stephanie Gaitley rallies her team in the Rose Hill Gymnasium, she reminds them of four attributes that come with dawning the maroon and white jersey: Grit. Hustle. Heart. Family.

These characteristics are the core of Gaitley’s team, which is part of the Division I Atlantic 10 Conference based in the Bronx, New York. While it’s a team-wide effort to exemplify these traits on and off the court, they have the ambassadorship of Kendell Heremaia and Zara Jillings, who extend the team’s legacy in both America and their home country of New Zealand.

Heremaia and…


The Sky Sport Tall Ferns coach Guy Molloy has named the initial 14 players on his roster for the Olympic Tournament. This tournament is big for many reasons, including that this is the first time the Tall Ferns will play at home, in front of home fans, for the first time since 2015. All the members from the Asia Cup, plus the return of Pep Flavell and Brooke Blair, have been named. The team will assemble in Auckland prior to the tournament, where Molloy will narrow down the squad to 12.

New Zealand team photo. Photo courtesy of FIBA

Kia Ora and happy spring to everyone in New Zealand.

It’s been a while since the last update (but don’t worry, more written pieces are in the tank coming your way in the next month or so), but this special-edition post follows some exciting developments from the past couple months for women’s basketball in Aotearoa.

So without further ado let the excitement commence. But first a drum roll please…

The first piece of great news: The Tall Ferns have a new naming sponsor! Fans and players can officially refer to them as the Sky Sport Tall Ferns now, and this…

Linden Moore

Sports Business gal telling 100% pure NZ athlete stories. PhD candidate, Auckland University of Technology. Twitter: @lindenmoore22, Instagram: @Nz_nbl_girl

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