With the Asia Cup less than a week away, the Tall Ferns are excited to announce a brand-new range of Tall Ferns apparel for Kiwi basketball fans.
The apparel features two key designs; a Tall Ferns drawing with sisters Charlisse and Krystal Leger-Walker alongside veterans Penina Davidson and Stella Beck, and a drawing specifically of rising star Charlisse – following her high-profile NCAA run with the Washington State Cougars earlier this year.
Both designs are available as t-shirts, hoodies and crew tops in both black and white, with the full range available for sale at pureathletic.co.nz/collections/sammy-g-design-range. All net profit from the sale of this apparel goes to the BBNZ Youth Development Fund, which helps to fund female youth who otherwise cannot afford to attend BBNZ age group tournaments or camps.
The apparel has been designed by basketballer Samara Gallaher, who herself debuted for the Tall Ferns back in 2021; going on to play 14 games in the black singlet over three years before a series of serious concussions forced an end to her Tall Ferns career. Today Samara splits her time between running the popular Sammy G Design out of Dunedin, and preparing for her second season with the Southern Hoiho in Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa.
Describing herself as a “self taught, kiwi artist who brings to life her passion areas of culture, sport and whanau through her loose, scribble style of art”, Samara has developed a strong following online in recent years thanks to her custom art prints & hand-drawn portraits of Kiwi athletes. Samara says that this project – and re-connecting with the Tall Ferns – was exciting to be part of.
“It’s like a dream project to be honest. Obviously the Tall Ferns hits home and hits the heart more than any team, and I’ve got a big soft spot for women and women in sports; so to be able to design this range for the team and for the girls, drawing faces that I’ve grown up playing with – and against – meant more than words to me,” says Samara.
“Looking back on the Tall Ferns, it was one of the most special times of my life. I remember the trainings, the camps and the trials and just the nerves and anxiety of being in those high performance spaces – and it comes full circle when you step on the court and wear that black jersey.
“Even going through the reference photos during the design process [for this project], it just reminded me of when I was out there playing alongside them and the special moments we had; some of the best moments of my life. I’ll forever be a fangirl.”
Samara particularly enjoyed the fun of collaborating with Charlisse for her special drawing.
“I slid into her DMs on Instagram and explained I was putting together a Tall Ferns t-shirt design and would love her input – and to highlight anything she wanted to include. She sent through her favourite team photos and I kinda went away, worked up a drawing, sent it back and got her feedback.
“She drew up her signature for me and I created the final design for her approval; she loved it and it was the green light I needed. It was great to have these conversations with her about it as quite often when I do these drawings, I don’t get to speak to the athletes directly – so being able to get the ok from her was amazing.”
The Tall Ferns ‘Sammy G Design’ Range is on sale now at pureathletic.co.nz/collections/sammy-g-design-range.
The Tall Ferns squad travels to Sydney on Thursday for the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup, which runs from 26 June to 2 July.
About Sammy G Design
Samara Gallaher is an Otago-based designer and basketballer who specialises in custom art prints and hand drawn portraits. View her unique illustrations, digital drawings and designs at https://www.sammygdesign.com/