Category Archives: Tall Ferns

Mixed week for Tall Ferns overseas





Jillian Harmon was the best individual performer amongst the overseas base Tall Ferns last weekend but it didn’t help secure a win.

In contrast Kalani Purcell and the Melbourne Boomers had a very satisfactory weekend recording two victories.

Purcell made 9 points plus 4 rebounds and an assist as Melbourne thumped Bendigo Spirit 90-63 on Friday.

It was equally comfortable on Sunday as Melbourne, coached by Tall Ferns assistant Guy Molloy cruised past Canberra Capitals 92-63 to improve to 3-1 for the season. A quiet 4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists for Purcell in this one.

Two games played and two wins registered for Townsville Fire after a 76-63 win against Canberra up in Queensland on Friday. Micaela Cocks scored 5 points to accompany 4 rebounds and a solitary assist.

Toni Farnworth is still recovering from a fractured wrist and missed the Perth Lynx double-header road trip. The Lynx lost both fixtures going down to Adelaide Lightning and Bendigo Spirit to slip to 0-3 after the first two rounds of the season – looks as if they need the Tall Ferns guard back as soon as possible.

Despite a game high 19 points Jillian Harmon will have been bitterly disappointed by Napoli’s 79-70 home loss to Le Mura Lucca in the Italian League.

Lucca is the team Harmon helped to the Italian Championship last season but they proved too strong for Napoli who are now 1-2 after a second straight loss.


Mixed news for Tall Ferns overseas last weekend


The Australian WNBL began at the weekend with Micaela Cocks and her Townsville Fire team getting one over on Melbourne Boomers with Kalani Purcell in their lineup.

The Fire won 63-54 with Cocks contributing a solid 8 points that included a brace of threes, 2 rebounds, an assist and a steal.

Purcell had 4 points and 4 rebounds for the Boomers.

It wasn’t all bad news for Purcell as in the opening game of the weekend, on debut, she contributed in her usual manner attempting to fill every stats category – 6 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and a block – Melbourne beating Dandenong Rangers 76-61.

Chevannah Paalvast was also making her debut, the Tall Fern guard playing five minutes for Canberra Capitals as it beat Bendigo Spirit 93-80. Long enough for Paalvast to get on the scoreboard with a couple of points.

Toni Farnworth was unable to suit up for Perth Lynx as she sustained a fractured wrist in a pre season game the previous weekend. The Lynx missed the influential Kiwi guard going down 93-80 at home to last season’s champions Sydney University Flames.

In Italy Jillian Harmon scored 9 points and added 6 rebounds and 3 assists in 38 minutes of action but Napoli went down 51-48 at home to Venezia in its second game of the season. In a defence dominated encounter Napoli managed just 8 points in the fourth quarter.

Webster, Fotu and Harmon debut as European season begins

Tai Webster

A number of the European Basketball Leagues began at the weekend and two of them the German Bundesliga and the Italian League featured Kiwi internationals debuting for their respective clubs.

It was mixed news from Germany for Tai Webster and Isaac Fotu.

Webster was making his debut in the colours of Frankfurt Skyliners and his 15 points contributed to a solid 82-70 away win at Jena for the Skyliners.

Webster committed a nervy 5 turnovers, understandable in his first professional game,  but more than made up for those errors as he added 4 rebounds, a couple of steals and a game high 7 assists to his points haul in 30 minutes of impressive action.

It wasn’t such good news for Fotu who, after three seasons playing in Spain, was making his debut in Germany for Ratiopharm Ulm. A costly third period lost 25-14 by Ulm, in front of a sold out home crowd, was a major contributor to a 68-72 defeat.

Fotu, like Webster, was inserted into the starting five and played 26 minutes – the Tall Blacks forward scored 6 points (3/6FG) and notched 4 rebounds.

Jillian Harmon is entering her eighth season playing in the highly regarded Italian League.

The Tall Ferns forward has transferred from defending champions Le Mura Lucca to join Napoli and marked her debut for her new club with a fine double double of 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Harmon also added 6 assists as Napoli won 64-58 at San Martino to get Napoli’s season off to a winning start.

Corey Webster has another week to wait before he makes his debut for Ironi Nahariya with the Israeli League commencing October 8th.

Paalvast signs for Canberra Capitals


And then there were five.

News that Chevannah Paalvast has signed a one-year deal with the University of Canberra Capitals takes the number of New Zealand internationals that will play in the 2017-18 Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) season to five.

Paalvast has joined the Capitals after a two-year stint with Townsville Fire winning a championship with the North Queensland club in 2016.

During the WNBL off-season Paalvast played alongside fellow Tall Fern Micaela Cocks in the Queensland Basketball League (QBL) for Mackay Meteorettes. The Meteorettes reached the QBL grand final series before going down to the Brisbane Spartans in the best of three series. The former Waitakere standout averaged 12.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game for Mackay.

The 26 year old Kiwi guard told the WNBL website, “I have heard nothing but positive stories about the Capitals and this was reinforced by the way they have welcomed me in.”

Canberra coach Paul Gorris is delighted with the signing, “What always stood out for me was her defensive ability and her athleticism.”

“For me, it was about personal development as I wanted to keep playing and I had heard so many wonderful things about Gorrie. I thought he would be a really good coach for my development,” said Paalvast.

The signing is also good news for the Tall Ferns programme with five players that recently featured in the Asia Cup campaign now signed with WNBL clubs. The quintet are likely to form the backbone of the New Zealand team when the Commonwealth Games are played on the Gold Coast and in Cairns next April.

In addition to Paalvast, Micaela Cocks (Townsville Fire), Toni Farnworth (Perth Lynx), Kalani Purcell and Rebecca Ott (both Melbourne Boomers) will be on duty when the new season tips-off on October 5th.

Tall Ferns strike Gold



The Australian based Tall Ferns have figured strongly in the recent State Championships Grand Finals.

read more

Jillian Harmon moves to Napoli


Jillian Harmon is returning to Europe for her eighth season playing in the highly regarded Italian League.

However the 30-year-old Tall Ferns forward is not returning to defending champions Le Mura Lucca instead opting to join Napoli.

Harmon was the third best scorer in the Italian League last season averaging 17.2 points per game. She also corralled 6.7 rebounds per game for Lucca but like a number of the championship winning squad she has decided to move on.

Napoli finished in sixth place in the League last season but with the acquisition of Harmon and Cameroon international Monique Ngo Ndjock will be expecting to make a top four showing in the 2017-18 campaign.

Other than the 2014-15 season Harmon has spent all of her professional career playing in Italy since graduating from Stanford University in 2009.

She won a WNBL championship in that 2014-15 season playing for Townsville Fire alongside Tall Fern teammate Micaela Cocks. She made it a championship double by guiding Otago Goldrush to the WBC title later in 2015.

Harmon debuted for the Tall Ferns in 2008 and appeared at the Beijing Olympics in the same year. She was recently involved in the Tall Ferns FIBA Asia Cup campaign in India where she finished the tournament in fourth spot for scoring (averaging 14.0ppg) and second in rebounding (9.3rpg).

Harmon video clip

Asia Cup wrap and what now for Tall Ferns

tall fernstall ferns

Here is the wrap on the Asia Cup as the Tall Ferns disperse and head for three different continents – just where you can read here.

There were also some impressive individual performances at the Cup – check out which Tall Fern topped the rebounding count.



Disappointing finish for Tall Ferns at Asia Cup


New Team shotThe Tall Ferns had a game to forget to conclude their programme at the Asia Cup in India on Saturday. The Kiwis went down 65-45 to Chinese Taipei in the 5th/6th play off game.

Japan won a third consecutive Asia Cup Final holding on to beat Australia 74-73.

read more

Game highlights

Tall Ferns beat North Korea at Asia Cup


image-1The Tall Ferns put their collective foot down in the first quarter and it was plain sailing after that. 5th/6th play-off game tomorrow will round out the Kiwis Asia Cup campaign.

read more


Tall Ferns World Cup qualification quashed

J Harmon

The Tall Ferns let slip a golden opportunity to not only advance to the Asia Cup semi-finals but also a place in the 2018 Fiba World Cup.

read more