Researching the past Tall Ferns teams I was sent this photo of the 198O team. I hadn’t realised that Keith Mair had been involved with the Women’s international programme before taking on the Men’s Head Coach role.
The 1980 team hosted Kentucky State University in a four game series before heading to Taiwan for the William Jones Cup.
Please share this photo with those you know will be interested and let me know if you are able to add value to the short player bios below.
Ann McLouglin – Hutt Valley and Whangarei representative Ann McLoughlin played almost 80 games for the National Team between 1979 and 1988. she appeared at the William Jones Cup in 1980 and 1981, the 1983 Commonwealth Championships in New Zealand and at two FIBA Qualifying Tournaments.
Corrina Poto – Averaging 9.6 points per game, Corrina was New Zealand’s second highest scorer at the 1988 Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Corina Cordzt had a scoring explosion at the 1994 FIBA World Championship in Australia scoring 25 points against Kenya. Made over 50 appearances in an international career that stretched from 1979 to 1994. In her senior year at Utah State University in 1982 she dished a record 14 assists in one game – a school record that still stands. One of the premier players of her era, with terrific ball handling skills – reportedly she played for the Auckland senior team as a 12-year-old. Mother Agnes Poto was Women’s National assistant Coach in 1983.
Sharon Rennell – Hutt Valley and Canterbury representative Sharon Rennell played five seasons on the national team between 1969 and 1980.
Di Robertson – Hawkes Bay representative Diane Robertson played over 40 games for the Tall Ferns from 1978-1984, the point guard captaining the team in the final year. Won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Tournament in 1983. She won seven national titles captaining the Hawkes Bay and Napier teams between 1978 and 1987. Her mother Dot Leitch was also a former New Zealand representative who was capped in 1949 and 1955. In 2010, she became the first basketballer, male or female, to be inducted into the Hawkes Bay Sports Hall of Fame.
Ann Robertson – Ann ‘Robbie’ Robertson holds the unique distinction of playing (1979-80) and coaching (1988-89) the Tall Ferns. The astute small forward began her career on the West Coast before winning multiple titles with Auckland as both a player and a coach. Her Auckland coaching tenure saw the team win 8 national titles in 12 years.
Lynne Gillies (Pugh) – Guard Lynn Gillies, out of Napier, appeared in 35 games for New Zealand, 1978-1982.
Debbie Smith – The 1980 season was Rotorua representative Debbie Smith’s only season in the international programme.
Carolyn Grey – One of the true legends of the game in New Zealand Carolyn had a thirty-year representative career and played for the Waikato WBC team as recently as 2012 at the age of 58! A terrific athlete and tenacious competitor Carolyn represented New Zealand from 1977-1985, selected to the All-Star 5 at the William Jones Cup in both the 1980 and 1981. She made 70 appearances in the black singlet and was inducted into the BBNZ Hall of Fame in 2016 and a Legend Award in 2017.
Maree Brunton – Wellington representative Maree Brunton. She was comfortable playing any position from point guard to the three spot. She played close to 30 games for the National Team in three campaigns. Later she went on to coach the Wellington team.
Christine Heremaia – Christine Heremaia was a Canterbury representative.
Jenny Mather – A long serving representative player, Jenny played for both Hutt Valley and Napier. Jenny captained the Tall Ferns in 1979 and 1980.
Heather Grayburn (van Siekke) – Heather Grayburn played representative basketball for North Harbour and Otago. She played almost 50 games for the national team over 5 seasons between 1977 and 1981 captaining the side in 1981.
Yes, KM was ‘involved’. A new policy by BBNZ, to appoint Assistant Coaches was introduced during the year (1980), this was probably their first such appointment. An excellent experience with a great group of people.
Thanks Keith, Can you share some memories of individual players from this team.
email firstname.lastname@example.org if easier.