New Zealand Tall Ferns head coach Kennedy Kereama has made a significant appointment prior to naming a squad of players that will attend a trial early next month, in Auckland on 6 to 12 June.
Entering the Tall Ferns environment for the first time is Associate Coach Guy Molloy. The Australian is currently head coach of the Deakin Melbourne Boomers in the Australian Women’s National Basketball League.
The 2013 WNBL Coach of the Year is delighted to be joining the Tall Ferns program.
“I was very excited to be approached by Kennedy about this role. Coaching international basketball, whenever the opportunity presents, has always been an intense and fulfilling experience. The fact that this is with the New Zealand Tall Ferns as they continue to make their mark on international basketball is especially timely. I am hoping my experience and knowledge will be beneficial for the team’s campaign towards the World Cup in 2018.”
The first task for Kereama, Molloy and returning Assistant Coach Aik Ho will be to select a team to attend the William Jones Cup in Taiwan in July, followed by an international series in Singapore. From there the Tall Ferns will travel to Bangalore for the FIBA Asia Women’s Cup, 23 to 29 July. This tournament doubles as a FIBA World Cup Qualifying Tournament.
Many of the players that will be attending the trial are well known to Molloy.
“I have been aware of some fine New Zealand players in the WNBL in recent years, such as Micaela Cocks, Jillian Harmon, Natalie Taylor, and Antonia Edmondson. I’m also aware of the increasing prominence of New Zealand players in the US college system. With four teams able to qualify for the 2018 FIBA World Cup from the Asian Zone, I am convinced the Tall Ferns can be one of these teams.”
In addition to his experience in the Women’s game Molloy has held a variety of positions in the Australian NBL and with Australian national teams, most recently the Junior Men’s team that won silver at the 2012 Under FIBA 17 World Championships in Lithuania.
Coach Kereama is enthusiastic about the addition of Molloy to the coaching group, which was the result after a search for a replacement for outgoing assistant coach Chris Lucas.
“Guy’s appointment was made after a large scale search when we knew Chris would not be available. Guy brings a wealth of experience to the programme with four World Championships, NBL coaching, and has twice been selected WNBL Coach of the Year. I am excited by the appointment as I know Guy will act as a mentor to players and coaching staff, he has a passion for fundamental development, is very astute and is a professional at what he does.
“Guy and I have met numerous times coaching opposing WNBL teams. Our relationship stretches back to when I first moved to Australia when I was looking at a basketball job with a club that he was working with back in 2010. We have kept regular contact over the last few years and I have always been a fan of Guy’s willingness to share information and knowledge on all things basketball. He is going to be a great acquisition to this programme and I am excited to be working with him.”
In congratulating Molloy on his position with the Tall Ferns, Boomers GM Justin Nelson said it was testament to Molloy’s international standing that New Zealand had identified him to help work with its national team.
“Guy is an outstanding coach, he is a proven winner on the international stage having won medals with Australian teams and he ticks every box when it comes to developing players,” said Nelson.
“I think Basketball New Zealand has been very astute in its recruitment of Guy and the Tall Ferns program and Coach Kereama will benefit from having his presence amongst the group.”
“The entire Boomers Family is delighted to see Guy in this role, its an opportunity that we are very supportive of,” added Nelson.
The Tall Ferns trial squad will be announced later this week.