Author: Taylor Hawks

Derone Raukawa

Derone has been an integral part of the Taylor Hawks for a number of seasons now. He plays with a level of creativity and excitement that fans love to watch.


Derone’s offensive skill set is a tough cover for opposing guards. His ability to create contact and finish through it, often drawing the foul, gives teams headaches trying to stop. He is at his best offensively when he has an aggressive mindset, and this flows over to the defensive end for him.


“I’m very happy to lock in Derone for another year. My opinion, he’s one of the league’s best one-on-one offensive guards. He’s been giving defenses trouble for some time now and I’m glad he’s on our side. He’s an instinctual player that thrives in open space. I have no doubt he’ll give Hawk fans a lot to cheer about this season.” Everard. 

Please Welcome Jordan Ngatai!

We are thrilled to announce the signing of Tall Black wing Jordan Ngatai! 

Jordan brings with him a wealth of  knowledge, not only of this league, but also that gained from nearly a decade of international experience. He made his international debut in 2013 and has since gone on to  represent the Tall Blacks at the 2017 Asia Cup, 2018 Commonwealth Games, and the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Jordan was a member of the New Zealand Breakers from 2014-20 before moving to Cairns for the 2021 and 2022 NBL seasons.

Jordan may be a familiar face to many Hawks fans as he spent most of his time in this league playing for our biggest rivals, the Wellington Saints. He will be a huge presence on and off the court and we can’t wait to see him put on a hawks jersey this season.

We are super excited to add Ngatai to our core group here at Hawks. He comes with a wealth of experience at the highest levels, playing multiple years in ANBL as well as putting on the Black and White National Jersey. I’ve seen Ngatai’s growth from his D.P years whilst I was at Breakers. I know what he is capable of and his willingness to do whatever it takes to be great is a testament to his success this far”. Everard Bartlett.

Hyrum Harris!!!

Hyrum Harris will be returning for the 2023 Season! 


Hyrum may be our most important singing this season. His ability to affect the game on both ends of the floor is special.


Hyrum’s biggest asset to the Hawks is his character. He brings a work ethic second to none, an uncompromising physical style of play and an actions speak louder than words style of leadership. His physical attributes of size, speed and agility, along with his relentless, gritty, hard working attitude make him the perfect mold to build what the 2023 Taylor Hawks want to be about.

“To have Hyrum commit with us for another season is a massive boost to the morale of the coaching staff & front office. He has been a standout leader since his arrival to Hawkes Bay. I personally have enjoyed playing alongside him for the last couple years, and now have the opportunity to be in a position to really help him reach some of his goals. He’s a player that will help me be a better coach and I help him be a better player. Hawks fans should be excited about the return of Hyrum Harris, especially his whanau that whakapapa back to Ngati Kahungunu.” Everard.

Link to article below.

Everard Bartlett – 2023 Taylor Hawks Head Coach


The Taylor Hawks are excited to announce the appointment of Everard Bartlett as their Head Coach for the 2023 SalsNBL season.

Everard has a deep understanding of what it means to be a Hawk and what it takes to win. He has represented not only the Hawks, but the Hawkes Bay community proudly for over 20 years with his continued drive for excellence and development. His basketball IQ, willingness to learn and ability to adapt, along with the local knowledge of the Hawkes Bay basketball landscape make him the ideal person for the job. 

We couldn’t be more proud to see Everard take this opportunity head on and make it his own!

Hawks to be led by new GM


Issued: 20th July, 2022 – Immediate Release

To our Corporate Partners, Season Members, Fans and Friends of the Program,

We’d like to inform you of some recent changes at the club.

Recently our current General Manager and Head Coach Mick Downer accepted a coaching role back in the Australian NBL commencing after our season. I’m aware it was a very difficult decision for he and his family to make as they love it here in the Bay, but it’s one that we understand and support. Mick has done a great job in the dual roles and the club is in a very healthy position commercially. Mick has stepped down as the General Manager of the club but he will continue in his role as Head Coach as we make a charge for the playoffs and ultimately championship success. The club will review the coaching role at the completion of the season in regards to next season.

 “I want to extend my sincere thanks to Keith, the board, our patrons, staff, players and fans for their support. An opportunity arose recently and it’s one that will allow me to pursue my passion of coaching. The change in GM leadership will allow the club to continue to grow from strength to strength, and allow me to focus solely on the coaching of the team as we enter the business end of the season, “ Mick Downer.

 The Taylor Hawks are excited to announce Andi Leydesdorff as the new General Manager, Andi will commence her role next week and she is excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for the Taylor Hawks.

“I am excited about this opportunity to be apart of the Taylor Hawks family, and look forward to meeting all the great people involved within the organisation in due course.”

Andi has an extensive background in sport as a leading administrator in a variety of roles but most noticeably her role as the former Hockey Community Manager of Hawkes Bay Hockey gives her a strong connection and understanding of the sports landscape here in Hawkes Bay.

“We welcome Andi to the Hawks family and look forward to her leadership of the club moving forward. She’s a highly skilled operator and we are excited about her building upon the work Mick has done and taking us into the future. Our initial discussions around her vision for the club and the supporting strategies are impressive and completely aligned with the direction we want to go.”

Ngā mihi | Kind Regards,


Keith Price

Board Chair

New import set to help Hawks Soar


“Hawks Bolster the big man department with athletic Agee touching down in the Bay.”

The search for a player to help the Hawks post stocks has concluded with talented, athletic and versatile post Tajuan Agee joining the team. A native of Chicago “Juan” as he is affectionally known just touched down in the Bay, dropped his luggage, met the team and joined the group for the trip to the South Island.

Agee has recently completed a stint in the highly regarded German Pro A league with Rasta Vechta, after joining them with a 2-7 record, his impact helped the team finish the season strongly at 16-16. This stint in Germany followed a rookie season in Europe for club Balkan who played in the FIBA Euro Cup and Basketball Champions league and the domestic Bulgarian league, where Agee averaged 12 pts & 8 rebs in 21 mins of play.

“What really stood out was how mature and easy to talk to Juan was in the recruiting process. He understands team dynamics and has played on deep rosters, so he is happy to play whatever role is required for us to be successful. Speaking with his coach from Germany they were wrapped with what he brought to the locker room and court and wouldn’t hesitate to have him back (always a good sign). Once over the jet lag and with a few weeks with the group we’re really looking forward to what Juan can bring.” Coach Mick Downer

“After hearing the team reached the finals in recent years I jumped at the opportunity knowing it is a great team and to be that piece that can help win it all by playing my role. I’ve played with veteran teams before, and hope that I can be that energy guy that lifts the team,” Agee added.

3 Quick Facts about Tajuan Agee:

  1. The eldest of 6 siblings
  2. Love’s animals and asked if NZ has any spiders
  3. I have Jamaican heritage

2021/22 Highlights:
Career Statistics:

CLUB STATEMENT – Update Jack Salt & Hawks Roster

CLUB STATEMENT – Jack Salt Status & Roster Update

Issued: 13th May, 2022

To our Corporate Partners, Season Members, Fans and Friends of the Program,

We write to provide information in regards to the current status of Jack Salt.

Unfortunately Jack has succumbed to lingering viral issues that has impacted his immunity. Medical advice and tests has indicated he must continue to rest and recover until he can resume a graded return to play regime. The timeframe of a healthy return to play is unclear. We have already commenced the process to find a replacement for Jack’s position for either the short term or remainder of the season. We wish Jack a speedy recovery but in the mean time we will continue with our next man up mentality and take on whatever is put in front of us.

We thank you for your patience and support and will communicate further with our valued supporters once we know more.

Ngā mihi | Kind Regards,

Keith Price                                                                                Mick Downer

Board Chair                                                                              General Manager & Head Coach

“Hawks load up roster with Champion big man Jack Salt.”

Jack Salt – Video Highlights

The Taylor Hawks have landed arguably the biggest signing in the 2022 Sal’s NBL free agency with NCAA Champion (University of Virginia), Jack Salt set to battle for the Bayside team.

Currently plying his trade for the Brisbane Bullets in the Australian NBL, a current Tall Black, and former Canterbury Ram, Salt will follow his former mentor and now Hawks Head Coach Mick Downer along with several team mates back up to the North Island as the Bayside team adds a big piece to an already impressive roster.

“I’m looking forward to doing whatever I can to help the team reach its full potential this season and I’m excited to be part of such a talented group. I’m happy to be coached by Mick again, he has a great understanding of the game but it’s his ability to connect with people and help get the most out of his players that helped in my decision.”

 The decision itself was a difficult one with several teams understandably trying to land the pivotal post players signature. Salt’s story of overcoming adversity and being resilient is an inspiring one. After becoming the first NZ player to win an NCAA championship, playing in the NBA Summer League with the Phoenix Suns and signing professionally, Salt has battle illness and injury in recent seasons but through tireless effort and a tough mindset he has returned to full health and is raring to go.

“It’s been frustrating at times, for sure, but I’ve learned a lot about how to get the most out of my body and I’m healthy and ready to play. I’m excited to get to NZ after this season and help the Hawks be successful.”

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