Basketball New Zealand (BBNZ) is excited to announce the appointment of its coaching staff for the U17 3×3 national team campaign in 2023.
Frances Tilly has been appointed as the new U17 Women’s head coach, while Anthony Corban is locked in as the U17 Men’s head coach. In addition, Cam Wilson will serve as assistant coach across both the Men and Women’s teams. Together they are charged with leading and implementing a training and performance programme for their respective U17 3×3 Teams this year, in preparation for the FIBA 3×3 U17 Asia Cup (date and location TBA).
Frances Tilly brings a wealth of experience to the role, having worked in the 3×3 space alongside 3×3 Tall Ferns head coach Justine Reed and serving as head coach of the U17 Women’s 3×3 national team during last year’s 3×3 Asia Cup. She is known both for her passion for the 3×3 game and her ability to build relationships with players.
Tilly says her involvement in the 3×3 over the past couple of years – especially alongside Reed – will be key for her in this role.
“I was lucky enough to start my 3×3 coaching journey with Justine in Hungary last year (at the U18’s) and then followed that up with the U17’s at end of the year,” says Tilly.
“For me it’s a real chance to build off that and take the learnings from that time in Malaysia – so it’ll be really fun to see what we can do this year. And any time I can represent my whanau and the basketball community is a real privilege, I love being able to share my knowledge and my passion with our future 3×3 Tall Ferns.
“Obviously our goal for this team is to get Top 3 [in the FIBA U17 Asia Cup], which qualifies us for the U18 World Cup next year; that’s our focus and it will really craft how we build a campaign and select our players. We know Asia Cup will be tough as Australia, Japan and China will be there too, so we’ve got to knock out one of those countries to get a Top 3 sport – it’s a challenge we’re up for, we believe we can get it.”
Anthony Corban is a well-known 3×3 specialist and one of New Zealand’s most decorated 3×3 coaches – having led multiple 3×3 national teams over the past decade at both age group and senior level. He returns to the international game with a goal of elevating the performance of the U17 men’s squad, while also serving as mentor to the younger 3×3 coaches.
Corban says that sharing his knowledge and experience with others was a big part of his return to the 3×3 national team programme.
“For me what really interested me in the role is being able to come back into the programme and mentor young players, as well as the next generation of coaches that have come into the 3×3 space,” says Corban.
“I watched the U17 teams perform at the FIBA Asia Cup last year, and it made it realise that I’d like to be part of the internationals again. I’m excited to be involved and to help get this team to the U18 World Cup in 2024.
“A big component will be working in with the High Performance team about planning and performance; looking at ‘balance is better’ to ensure we’re not overtraining athletes but are preparing them well for an international event. And working around a busy BBNZ basketball calendar to ensure athletes are available, and planning for things like Covid and injuries – both of which have had a big impact on sport in the past few years.”
Cam Wilson is currently involved in the 3×3 space in Christchurch and served as the U17 3×3 Men’s head coach last year. His skills and experience will bring extra value to these age group programs in support of the newly appointed head coaches.