Sky Sport Tall Ferns Head Coach Guy Molloy arrives in New Zealand this month and is preparing for a busy few weeks.
Molloy will attend the U16 Junior National team camp in Auckland from April 24-26, then coach the Junior Tall Ferns at the U17 Junior National team camp, also in Auckland, from April 28 – May 1. From there Molloy will run the BBNZ National Coaching Clinics throughout May, leading up to the Tall Ferns Domestic Camp from May 27-31.
“Due to Covid, we have not been together in earnest since November 2019. However, there is no time to rest! We must come together quickly in 2021 and perform well at the Asia cup. Only a top four finish there will see us qualify for the next stage to the World Cup in 2022. We can’t waste a minute,” said Molloy.
The Melbourne based coach arrives having recently led a camp for Australian based Tall Ferns and Tall Ferns hopefuls in the Gold Coast.
“The camp was a fantastic opportunity. In the midst of such difficult logistical times, Basketball New Zealand provided for an outstanding identification & development camp, that also served as an initial round of selection for Asia Cup in September.”
Alongside him in the Gold Coast was Tall Blacks Head Coach Pero Cameron, who stepped in to help out in the absence of New Zealand based assistants Jody Cameron and Aik Ho. Molloy was more than happy to welcome Jody’s older brother into the fold.
“Given that our NZ – based coaches could not attend the camp, Pero’s keen eye and knowledge of the game was an invaluable asset throughout all seven sessions. He also provided all the video support at the camp. It was great to have such cooperation from the Tall Blacks coach,” added Molloy.
While the intention has been to provide every Tall Fern hopeful with a chance to prove themselves ahead of Asia Cup selection, global travel restrictions have made that impossible.
“We had four players in the Tall Ferns squad, who are playing in Australia this winter, but could not return to Australia in time due to quarantine restrictions. These players were Mary Goulding, Zoe Richards, Ash Kelman-Poto, and Jacinta Beckley. If travel restrictions do not permit them to attend the Tall Ferns camp in Auckland in late May, we will evaluate the selection chances of these players from their own club form.”
“Our friend Mike Lacey keeps us well informed of all the Kiwis playing college basketball in the US. We also communicate with college coaches on a regular basis. Otherwise, we have good connections into the other relevant leagues, especially the large number of players that play in Australia. I’m genuinely excited to see some of the athleticism, skill, and heart that some of our younger players are demonstrating.”
Casting a wide net in search for Sky Sport Tall Ferns talent is more important than ever, as Molloy has lofty goals for the team.
“Firstly, we must get good enough to win on the world stage to qualify for the big events. Secondly, we must improve our skills and game style to play a brand of basketball that has its own unique trademarks. We can’t be a pale copy of anybody else, we must create our own strong way,” Molloy summarised.
- U16 Junior National Team Camp 24th – 26th April
- U17 Junior National Team Camp 28th April – 1st May
- BBNZ National Coaching Clinics 1st May – 22nd May
- BBNZ Awards Night 8th May
- Tall Ferns Domestic Camp 27th – 31st May