Category Archives: Womens Basketball

Williams-Mackey in Dreamland

Arielle Williams Mackey helped propel Auckland Dream to a second straight Sal’s NBL 18IN18 victory at Bruce Pulman Arena on Friday.

The shooting guard produced a game high 19 points (8/13FG) as the Dream proved too good for Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats winning 66-51.

The 18-year old, the youngest member of the Dream, has also announced that she will be headed to Brigham Young University (BYU) on a 4-year basketball scholarship.

Dream forward Amanda Wayment is a former BYU captain and of course former Dream standout and Tall Ferns captain Kalani Purcell is also a former Cougar.

Full game report below:

City too slick for Shore

The Girl’s edition of Battle of the Bridge was held at St Mary’s College on Saturday evening with City running out winners 81-64.

Shore were quickest out of the gate and led by double figures at the mid-point of the first quarter as Aroha Rogers, Rosie Dil and Makenzee Boucher made an immediate impact on the game.

City worked their way back into the contest at the backend of the period – five straight points from Lily Parke giving them a 22-21 quarter time lead.

Once ahead City steadily built their advantage to lead 44-34 at half-time and 64-51 at the three-quarter mark.

MacKenzie Chatfield made some eye catching plays for Shore but City always had the answers with MVP Flo Dallow, Parke, Odessa Lawson, and the Tenana-Williams sisters, Leata and Safena, all impressing.

As with the Boy’s game the previous day another good crowd was in attendance for what will hopefully become an annual celebration of girl’s high school basketball. Saturday evening was just that, congratulations to the organisers and all the players that provided the entertainment.

City 81 – Parke 20, Dallow 11, Lawson 8, Tyla Tevaga 8, Zaaliyah Kailahi-Fulu 8, S Tenana-Williams 5, Imogene Noble 5, Lelani Robertson 5, Monica Kelly 4, L Tenana-Williams 4, Ramona Fuaivaa 4, Maria Tatupu 2

Shore 64 – Chatfield 18, Boucher 8, Dil 7, Kellie Tawhio 7, A Rogers 7, Waiaaria Rogers 7, Emma Pugh 5, Centaine Noom-Duckworth 3, Qaizden Stephano 2

Kiwi’s prominent in QBL again

In the latest action from the Queensland Basketball League (QBL) RedCity Roar did anything but roar against the in-form Southern District Spartans whilst Logan Thunder roll on unbeaten. 

The Roar versus Spartans clash featured a posse of Kiwis although it was the Purcell sisters Kalani and Natalie Taylor that were smiling at the finish with the Spartans smashing the Roar 94-63.

Taylor was within an assist of a triple double as she finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 9 dimes whilst Kalani was equally prolific with 17 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals.

Ashleigh Karaitiana took her run of double-doubles to four with 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Roar and fellow Kiwis Kayla Kiriau (8 points and 12 rebounds), Ajiah Siosiua-Pepe (9 points) and Karlene Kingi (4 points) were also contributors but the Roar were well beaten on the night and slip to a 2-2 record.

The Spartans are 4-1 after making it two-from-two last weekend with a 77-63 road win at North Gold Coast Seahawks.

Once again Kalani Purcell was prominent with 14 points and 9 boards.

Logan Thunder remain top of the QBL ladder with a 4-0 record after two massive wins at the weekend. On Saturday they demolished Ipswich Force 94-56 and were even more convincing on Sunday thumping South West Metro Pirates 89-39. 

Chevannah Paalvast scored just the 2 points against the Pirates but a healthy 14 points against the Force.

Tall Black Tyrell Harrison added 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks to 15 points but the Southern District Spartans couldn’t handle RedCity Roar going down 123-109 in the Men’s QBL.

Canterbury Wildcats appoint Dene Robinson as Head Coach

Dene Robinson

Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats fielded applications from both within New Zealand and overseas but have chosen to go with home grown talent in appointing Dene Robinson to the position of Head Coach. 

Wildcats Chair Murray Kennedy is delighted to have secured Robinson’s services.

“We received applications from all over the world for this role but we’re very happy that Dene’s name was among them. He’s a real basketball guy with a passion for the game, a born and bred Cantabrian and he has a great track record as a coach. We’re looking forward to working with him”.

Robinson takes over the Wildcats head coach position from Lori McDaniel who relinquished the role at the end of the 2019 season.

Robinson, the Canterbury Basketball Association Coach of the Year in 2012, has won a number of titles at club and provincial level and was also Assistant Coach to the Canterbury Rams between 2002 and 2006.

In addition, Robinson has also had plenty of experience coaching women’s basketball having had stints at the helm of the University of Canterbury Women’s Premier team and as assistant to the Canterbury U19 Women’s team.

“I’ve had a long term involvement in basketball, particularly in Canterbury and had some great experiences coaching women’s basketball,” said Robinson.

During her five years at the helm of the Wildcats McDaniel was arguably the most successful Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) coach in the country. 

In her first year in charge the Wildcats finished sixth then in 2016 and 2017 they won back to back championships with McDaniel winning WBC Coach of the Year honours on both occasions.

“I’m looking to build on the great culture that has been put in place by Lori and Murray so really looking forward to stepping in to that opportunity,” said a delighted Robinson.

“I’m really impressed with what has taken place with the Wildcats in the last five years and I’m looking forward to catching up with Lori and picking her brain a little bit. I think the way she and Murray have set up the team in a semi-professional way is an outstanding achievement.

“I know some of the players. I was assistant coach of the Canterbury U19 Women’s team that won the national title in 2014. Laken (Wairau) and Tessa Boagni were in that team. I’ve also coached against players like Shea Crotty in club basketball and then Sapphire Wairau, when she was younger, was in my club team.

“So I know some of the players and I look forward to catching up with them,” added Robinson.

The new Wildcats mentor is also delighted with the new direction of the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL).

“I think the league is going to be really exciting next year with the innovation of the live Wednesday night games on Sky Sport. I think we will have a lot to learn from that.

“I’m also really pleased to hear about the D League which will again help women’s basketball and I believe Canterbury have put in an expression of interest for that. The opportunity to link the Wildcats with a D League team, and maybe North Canterbury and South Canterbury as well, would be another great innovation. I’m looking forward to seeing how that develops.

“It’s good that there is new stuff going on and building the profile of women’s basketball.”

Robinson is anticipating that the nucleus of the 2019 Wildcats team will again be available for the 2020 season.

“That would be a big advantage for me if I can keep some of that experience and leadership. I’m looking forward to talking to the players in the near future.

“I’m keen to get an experienced assistant coach and would also like to find a development coach – in basketball and work I have always been keen on succession planning and development. 

“The way the team is set up we have young development players so if I could extend that to coaching I would be very pleased,” added Robinson.

The 2020 Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) season is set to commence in May.


NCAA Div 1 Women Start Strong


There have been some good performances by Kiwi women in the opening rounds of NCAA Division I college basketball.

2018 Tall Fern Tera Reed led Virginia Commonwealth Rams with 15 points as the Rams proved too good for Longwood winning 84-55. Reed added 5 rebounds in front of a bumper crowd of almost 4,000.

Mary Goulding put in a strong performance for Fordham University Rams in its 58-54 loss at Washington. The Cantabrian forward played all 40 minutes collecting 15 points and 12 rebounds. Kendell Heremaia chipped in with 5 points and Zara Jillings a brace for the Rams.

Also playing 40 minutes was Krystal Leger-Walker for Northern Colorado Bears that were beaten 62-57 by LSU at Baton Ruge. L-W produced 9 points, 5 rebounds and 5 dimes for the Bears that slip to 1-2 on the season.

Shalae Salmon had 9 rebounds including four at the offensive end as BYU Cougars edged UC Riverside 72-70 in an exciting overtime win. The Kiwi forward in her junior year at BYU was called on to play 42 minutes as she added 4 points and an assist.

Tegan Graham was in good form for Colgate University. The starting guard led the Raiders scoring with 18 points but it was a second straight loss for Colgate going down 67-58 at Dayton.

Kayla Manuirirangi scored 14 points for Tulane but the Green Wave crashed 62-56 to Texas Southern.

Freshman Amiee Book made a very promising start to her college career. Book scored 15 points (3/4 3PG) as Cal State Fullerton went down 83-74 at Washington.

Penina Davidson outstanding but Rainbow Wahine too good for Premiere North


The University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine eventually proved too strong for New Zealand International Basketball Tours Premiere North pulling away in the final quarter to win 71-57 at Auckland Boys Grammar School on Thursday.

It was a margin that didn’t do justice to the Premiere team’s effort as they led for a time in the third period and only trailed 49-46 with ten minutes to play.

An understandably stuttering start, given that the Premiere team gathered for the first time on the morning of the game and Hawaii only arrived in the country on Wednesday, was shaded by the visitors 18-12.

The Premiere coaching staff were not afraid to use their youngest talent in unison – all four high school players, Tayla Dalton, Jazz Kailahi-Fulu, Shauna Povey and Sharne Pupuke-Robati were on court together ahead of the Rainbow Wahine taking a 31-22 lead into the locker room.

A good sized crowd got behind the home team as they made a strong start to the second half.

The Premiere team made a conscious effort to get the ball inside to forwards Penina Davidson (22 points and 10 rebounds), Makayla Daysh and Pupuke-Robati (10 points) – a tactic that reaped some benefit as the hosts opened the half with a 10-3 run.

Davidson, ahead of her departure to take up a contract with the Adelaide Lightning in the Australian WNBL, displayed her scoring versatility with a long three to compliment some skillful inside work, the Premiere’s taking the lead after additional good work from Donna Fermanis and Arielle Parai.

As expected from a quality NCAA Division I team the Rainbow Wahine responded and carried a 49-46 advantage into the last quarter.

The Premiere’s effort faded in the final minutes, the University of Hawaii closing out a deserved first-up victory on their four game tour of New Zealand and Australia.


After a day of relaxation in Auckland on Friday the Rainbow Wahine head to Christchurch for a game against NZ Premiere South – Sunday, 4.30pm start at Cowles Stadium.

Another entertaining game is in prospect with Tessa Boagni headlining the Premiere lineup. The former California State University Northridge forward was outstanding for the Tall Ferns last month during their gold medal winning campaign at the William Jones Cup.

For further information visit the New Zealand International Basketball Tours website

NZ Premiere North 57 – P Davidson 22/10r, S Pupuke-Robati 10, A Parai 6, M Daysh 6, T Dalton 5, K Tini 2/6r, D Fermanis 4, Kailahi-Fulu 1

University of Hawaii 71 – L Salanoa 12, M Woodfolk 11, S Reier 11, C Middap 11

Double dose of Hawaiian delight


New Zealand International Basketball Tours (NZIBT) have announced that they are hosting the University of Hawaii women’s basketball team for two games in New Zealand in early August.

NZIBT successfully hosted University of California Golden Bears last year and have once again attracted a top NCAA Division I college to our shores.

The game against Cal attracted over 150,000 on-line viewers in addition to the 1,000 spectators that witnessed the game live at North Shore Events Centre.

The games against the Rainbow Wahine will be played in Auckland and Christchurch. As last year the New Zealand Premier team will be selected from players playing in the Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC).

The fixtures will provide an opportunity for a number of WBC veteran players to appear on the international stage and also showcase young up and coming New Zealand talent.

NZIBT Sports Tour Director Ashley Gayle is thrilled at the prospect of hosting another high quality American college women’s team.

“We are extremely excited for the opportunity to bring Hawaii University women’s basketball team to New Zealand. We encourage you to support the Kiwi players and watch two great games. More details on the dates and times of games will be available in the near future.

Follow NZIBT here


Leger-Walker continues good form as Wizards down Dream


Charlisse Leger-Walker continued from where she left off at the Commonwealth Games a couple of weeks ago as Waikato Wizards beat Auckland Dream 56-50 on Saturday at Rosehill College.

Leger-Walker you may remember was joint top scorer with 18 points as the Tall Ferns defeated Canada in the bronze medal game on the Gold Coast earlier in the month.

On Saturday she led all scorers with 22 points (8/14FG, 5/7FT) and snared 14 rebounds and 3 steals. Leger-Walker was ably assisted by Alyssa Hirawani who threatened a triple double with 17 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. Kelcy Ballantyne and Kasee Leef also chipped in with 6 points apiece for the Wizards.

Auckland were well served by Hailey Moala-Purcell (12 points), Shauna Povey (11 points) and Roana Patterson (6 points). Idaho Purcell and Amanda Buck got through plenty of defensive work nabbing 8 rebounds and 7 rebounds respectively.

The Dream had their most effective scoring spell in the fourth quarter but it wasn’t enough to overturn the 47-35 deficit they faced at three-quarter-time.

Earlier the Wizards won the first two periods by a single point to lead 25-23 at half-time.

The game was a final hit out for both teams ahead of their Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) openers in Tauranga on Friday. Auckland will take on cross-city rivals Harbour Breeze in the opening game while Waikato will match up against defending champions Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats.

Auckland Dream win inaugural Ross Williams Cup


IMG_1127Auckland Dream gained early season bragging rights over Harbour Breeze with a 55-48 victory in the first Ross Williams Cup game held at Epsom Girls Grammar School on Friday night.

Ross Williams, a Basketball New Zealand Life Member, gave over 50 years service to basketball, and the women’s game in Auckland was particularly dear to his heart. If he had been able to attend the encounter on Friday Ross would have enjoyed the occasion, as two evenly matched teams went toe to toe in front of a good crowd.

Shauna Povey and Paddy Pupuke-Robati shared all of Auckland’s first quarter points but the Breeze shaded the period 13-11 as Tabitha Jenkins scored just prior to the break.

The second quarter was all the Dream. Povey moved into double figures as the hosts won the frame 13-6, to take a 24-19 lead into the locker room at the interval.

Jazz Kailahi-Fulu made a couple of inside baskets for the Breeze but triples from Stevee-Rose Theyers and Leiani Tautiepa pushed the Dream advantage into double figures. A late third period flourish from former Westlake teammates Mareta Davidson and Keeley Tini dragged the Breeze to within three at the last break – down 38-35.

Luye Murphy scored five quick points to start the fourth, but Tini and Kailahi-Fulu kept the Breeze in touch and when Morgan Ili scored inside it was a two-point game (48-46) with three minutes to play.

Sharne Pupuke-Robati and Kailahi-Fulu exchanged baskets but although the Breeze had opportunities to level it was the Dream that finished the stronger closing out a seven point win.

The two teams will lock horns again in a couple of weeks when they play the opening game of the 2018 Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) in Tauranga on May 4th.

In the curtain raiser St Mary’s College, Ponsonby defeated Orewa College 80-32. The win means St Mary’s replace Orewa in the Auckland Secondary Schools Premier Grade for the 2018 season.


Auckland Dream 55 – Povey 14, P Pupuke-Robati 12, S Pupuke-Robati 9, L Murphy 5

Harbour Breeze 48 – J Kailahi-Fulu 14, M Ili 9, T Jenkins 7, K Tini 7, M Davidson 6

The Fotu’s have something special going on


At some stage in mid 2018 Daniel Fotu will head to San Francisco to link up with the players and coaching staff at St Mary’s College.

The St Mary’s play in the NCAA Division 1 West Coast Conference and the Rangitoto College senior this week signed a letter of intent to suit up for the Randy Bennett coached Gaels for the 2018-19 season and beyond.

There is nothing new of course about Kiwi’s heading to college in the States, after all over thirty young New Zealand players are at Division 1 universities heading into the new season that begins at the end of October.

However what may be unique is that three siblings from the same family have gained basketball scholarships to the USA.


The first Fotu to dip his toes in the US was Isaac who headed to the University of Hawaii in 2012 playing two seasons with the Warriors before turning pro.

The 23-year-old Tall Black regular has recently signed with leading German club Ratiopharm Ulm for the 2017-18 European season. The power forward has spent the last three seasons playing in Spain firstly for La Bruixa d’Or Manresa and for the past two seasons CAI Zaragoza.

Sister Gabriella (Ella) had a less than happy time at Boise State in 2015-16 but enjoyed a successful 2016-17 campaign at Hawaii Pacific. The 21-year-old guard averaged 7.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists last season for the Sharks earning an honourable mention in the All-PacWest Conference. Ella scored a season high 19 points at Notre Dame de Namur in January.

ella fotu

18 year-old Daniel, was a member of the Junior Tall Blacks team that recorded an historic win against Australia at the 2016 Oceania Championships in Fiji last December. Dan averaged 7.5 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists in the tournament but injury ruled him out of the subsequent 2017 U19 World Cup in Cairo last July

All three Fotu’s have attended Rangitoto College on Auckland’s north shore. A school that has produced, in addition to Isaac, full internationals Penina Davidson, Brooke Blair, Tai Wynyard and most famously Sean Marks.

Dan already has two Schick New Zealand Secondary Schools National Championships winner’s medals to his name and heads to Palmerston North next week hoping to make it a trifecta.

Neither Ella nor Isaac enjoyed the thrill of winning a Secondary Schools championship but both picked up national titles playing for North Harbour. In fact the pair received the unusual distinction of claiming the MVP title at the same tournament – the Under 23 National Championships in Tauranga in 2013. Ella led Harbour to the Women’s title against Waikato and Isaac the men’s as they defeated Counties Manukau to claim gold.


All three have turned out for Harbour whenever possible, with Ella giving up part of her recent summer break from Hawaii to play for Harbour Breeze in the Women’s Basketball Championship. She made an immediate impact on her return averaging a team high 18 points per game as the Breeze clinched the Plate title in Christchurch back in July.

Perhaps basketball in New Zealand can bottle the genetics of the Fotu seniors Manu and Jenny because whatever they have seems to be a potent potion.

Oh, and the Fotu’s may not be finished yet – 13 year old Jacob, a budding hoopster, is in year 9 at Rangitoto – watch this space.