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Taylor Hawks will not enter the modified 2020 Sal’s NBL Competition

This week, the Taylor Hawks have had to make the very difficult decision not to enter into the 2020 Competition that the NZ NBL have put together.  We have thoroughly researched the proposal and consulted with the wider basketball community in order to come to this decision.

It has been a very long process and the continued support of our Board, Kelvin Taylor at Taylor Corp, Brendon Smith at Hastings City Pak’nSave, and our two patrons, Colin Francis and Kevin Atkinson has been invaluable to us.  We have reached out to players, coaches and fans for feedback and detail, which was all well reasoned and supportive.  Throughout these difficult times created by COVID 19, it has been heartening to hear the positive messages from you all.  It is great to see you stand behind your team.

While we commend the NZNBL League for all of the work that they have put into this and we are definitely supportive of the intent behind the competition, as of the entry deadline this week, there were still too many unknown factors for us.  Essentially, our decision was based on two main factors, community connection and player welfare.

The success of the Taylor Hawks is based on the support of our community; our Sponsors, our funders, our players and our fans.  This had to be in the forefront of our minds through the decision making process.  Unfortunately, the draft system and the tight timelines meant that our ability to build a team with a strong connection to our community was going to be very difficult.  There was a possibility that we would only have one or two of our team members in the ten player squad.

Many of our extended squad in Hawke’s Bay work or go to school.  After the lockdown period, it was almost impossible for them to take the time out for the competition.  This meant that we would have to rely heavily on the draft system, which again, gave us very little control over our team.  We are not one of the larger regions, but we have built ourselves up to runner up in 2019, so it was important for our community and key stakeholders to maintain the gains we have made over the last few years.  In the end, we were unable to build the team in a way that we could show a direct benefit to the Taylor Hawks Community.

This has the potential to be an intense competition, so the preparation before the competition and the ability to rest and recover throughout the competition are vital to player welfare.  Unfortunately, we as a franchise could not prepare for this given the unknown aspects of the draft.  Our players are important to us and their welfare had to be a key aspect of this decision also.

The League are still working on some of these issues and we hope that they can overcome some of the obstacles in their path.  Unfortunately, at the point of the deadline, there were still too many unknown factors for us to take the risk.

It is disappointing that three of the top 2019 teams will not be competing in this competition, but at the end of the day we had to do what is best for our community, our players and our franchise.

We are now focused on our 2021 Campaign.  All of the support we have received so far makes us confident that it will be a good one.  Watch this space.

Keith and Amy Price

Basketball: Everard Bartlett to roost with Hawke’s Bay Hawks again in NBL campaign


When Keith Price looks at Everard Bartlett he wishes more veteran basketballers from Hawke’s Bay could catch his virus.

That’s because Bartlett hasn’t just renewed his contract with the Taylor Corporation Hawks this year but also has been infectious in the way he goes about spreading the gospel, according to basketball, in the province.

“That’s what we want to see,” says the Hawke’s Bay franchise board chairman of the veteran guard who is in the mix of newly appoint coach Daniel Nelson, of Ireland, with the National Basketball League (NBL) looming. “I’d like to see a few more of the older players doing that.”

Price says Bartlett is mentoring a Bay age-group team while running his newly established Horizons Basketball Academy in Hastings.

“He’s very busy but we’re right behind him with everything,” he says of Bartlett, who is in Melbourne, Australia, on a business trip. “He’s done his travelling with basketball and he’s now devoted to Hawke’s Bay.”

Born in Hastings, the 34-year-old former Tall Black has a career spanning from 2005 and has included stints in the Australian National Basketball League for the New Zealand Breakers, Perth Wildcats and Adelaide 36ers.

“He’s settled in Hawke’s Bay now and throwing himself at everything,” says Price of a bloke who has represented his province since 2006, bar a season each away with the Southland Sharks, the defunct Supercity Rangers and a club in Ballarat, Victoria, in Australia.

Price says Bartlett, who attended a defunct Church College in Hamilton in the footsteps of his mother, is building a rapport with the Bay community which has the rubber stamp of the Hawks franchise and the province’s amateur body, Basketball HB.

Former Tall Black Everard Bartlett has been conducting coaching sessions in Hawke's Bay for a few years now. Photo / File
Former Tall Black Everard Bartlett has been conducting coaching sessions in Hawke’s Bay for a few years now. Photo / File

Former Hawk Clifton Bush II has opened the doors to the Constant and Never-ending Improving Basketball Academy (Cani) in Napier.

Bush and Bartlett initiatives are strategically aligned with Basketball HB. The official endorsement comes on the heels of the Paul Henare and Paora Winitana Hawke’s Bay Academy closing its doors late last year after nurturing youngsters for almost a decade via junior and senior classifications.

The former Irongate School pupil caught the attention of talent scouts in this part of the world when he clinched the Slam Dunk Competition at the NBL All Star Weekend in 2006. His passion for the game took him as far as Iceland in 2007-08.

A former Wasatch Academy member from Utah in the United States, Bartlett represented his country at the 2012 Fiba World Olympic Qualifying Tournament, 2013 Fiba Oceania Championship, 2014 Fiba Basketball World Cup, 2015 Fiba Oceania Championship, and 2016 Fiba World Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Neslon, 34, of Dublin, also has the services of veteran forward Darryl Jones but is expected to name his import players in a fortnight in a quest to help the province claim the NBL crown — something it has achieved only once under former Australian mentor Shawn Dennis.

The Hawks open their campaign against reigning champions Wellington Saints on Thursday, April 9, in a 7.30pm tip off at the Pettigrew-Green Arena, Taradale.

The NBL will culminate with the Final Four from July 17-19 before the grand final from July 24-26.

By Anendra Singh

Taylor Hawks Coach Steps Down

The Taylor Hawks would like to advise that Kirstin Daly-Taylor has stepped down as Head Coach

Kirstin was contracted with the Hawks in 2016 on a multi-year deal. She was successful in implementing a successful game plan on the 9 April when the Taylor Hawks beat the Mike Pero Nelson Giants 81-63, but it has been the only win for the team this season.  

With a view to look for better success, Daly-Taylor has resigned and feels that the team needs a new leader.

Daly-Taylor said she felt the team could improve under refreshed leadership and believed it was right to step down to make the position available for a new Head Coach. 

The Taylor Hawks have accepted the resignation and the decision is an amicable one.

The Taylor Hawks in the interim have appointed Board Member Ben Hill in a caretaker role for the game on Friday in Te Awamutu and Saturday in Nelson.

The four-time NBL title-winning forward played for the Waikato Pistons and was a three-point clutch specialist.

Hawks end 24 game losing streak

The Taylor Hawks have finally ended their 24-game losing streak with an 81-63 win over the Mike Pero Nelson Giants.

Hawks captain Everard Bartlett led the way with 19 points, forward Joshua Fox added 15 and seven rebounds, and Greg Fiorentinos had 15 off the bench.

June 21, 2015 was the last time the Hawks had a win, but today hopefully a winning streak will begin for them who showed a great deal of hustle to finally get on the board. One person who will be relieved to remove the monkey off her back is Hawks coach Kirsten Daly who will be impressed with her sides defensive effort which restricted the Giants to 63 points on 37% shooting.

The Hawks also welcomed American centre Amir Williams who although didn’t produce much of a stat line brought presence on the inside.

It was another disappointing effort from the Giants who today only got good production from Dion Prewster who had 25 points. Lack of depth in the forwards came to the fore today when their centre Curtis Washington battled with foul trouble, playing only 17 minutes.

Finn Delany and Kyle Adnan were the only other Giant players to reach over double-digit points, but Delany struggled from the field shooting 4/16 while Adnan struggled to find a rhythm with taller opponent Jarrod Kenny making it difficult.

Off the bat, you could feel this was a different Hawks team when they opened the game with four straight points from Fox including an emphatic dunk, followed by a three from Tony Tolovae and then a bucket from Johnson which gave the home side a 9-2 lead to begin the game and a 20-13 lead after the first quarter. The Hawks were not going to let the game slip from them winning each of the next three quarters.

The Hawks will try to bring this momentum in when they play at home game again against the SIT Zerofees Sharks who will be coming off a game the night before against the Wellington Saints.

Nelson now slump to 0-5 and have a lot to ponder as the schedule won’t be easier when they travel on the road next week to play against the James Blond Supercity Rangers and Taranaki Mountainairs on Saturday night then Sunday afternoon.

A special mention to Referee Dallas Pickering who officiated his 400th NBL game today. Pickering began his career in 1994 and currently holds the most ever finals officiated (15) and is one of only two referees to have officiated over 400 games joining Stan Battock who 1982-2004 officiated 460 games.


Sunday, April 9

At Pettigrew Green Arena, Taradale

Taylor Hawks 81 (Everard Bartlett 19, Joshua Fox 15, Greg Fiorentinos 15)

Mike Pero Nelson Giants 63 (Dion Prewster 25, Kyle Adnan 11, Finn Delany 10)

Live Stats

Rangers overcome deficit to beat the Airs

The James Blond Supercity Rangers have overcome a 22-point deficit to defeat the Taranaki Mountainairs 65-62.

It was evident that both teams were coming off games on Friday night as each team shot in the low thirties.

Mitch McCarron had a double-double of 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Lindsay Tait tallied 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Rangers who will pleased to be 3-1 to start the season without key personnel to join their roster.

Taranaki should feel gutted not to have got the win this afternoon and showed a lot of fight after they lost their American centre, Daniel Gomis with a suspected fractured hand only playing seven minutes. The Rangers took advantage in the second quarter when Taranaki’s leading scorer Tylor Ongwae had to be benched after committing his third foul to cut the 22-point lead to only seven at halftime.

The second half was not pretty as both teams were sloppy offensively and in the end the difference was possibly three throw shooting. The Rangers making key ones down the stretch, ending the game shooting 14/19, whilst the Airs were poor at 10/20.

Ongwae scored a team high 14 points and Houston O’Riley had 12 for Taranaki who drop to 3-2 and also lose the all-important tiebreaker against the Rangers.

Taranaki will hopefully have a positive prognosis on the injury status of Daniel Gomis, but it will be a short turnaround for the franchise as they will host the 4-0 Wellington Saints on Thursday night.

Meanwhile the Rangers should have Guam small forward Earnest Ross to make his first appearance against the SIT Zerofees Sharks next Saturday in Invercargill.


Sunday, April 2

At Trusts Arena, Waitakere

James Blond Supercity Rangers 65 (Mitch McCarron 24, Lindsay Tait 15)

Taranaki Mountainairs 62 (Tylor Ongwae 14, Houston O’Riley 12, Alonzo Burton 10)

Live Stats

Saints win fourth straight

The Wellington Saints have overcome a sluggish start to win their fourth of the season with a 102-91 win over the Taylor Hawks.

Corey Webster scored a game high 33 for the Saints and took control in third period and early part of the fourth quarter which saw the visitors take a two-point half time lead up to 19.

Tai Wesley and Shea Ili both added 19 and Jordan Ngatai added 14 for the Saints who have now won their last six.

Hawks would try to make a mini fourth quarter run with back to back three’s from Everard Bartlett, but the deficit would be too large for the home side who now slump to their 24th straight loss and fourth for the season.

Wellington’s strategy was to give point guard Jarrod Kenny free looks on the outside and he took advantage scoring 22 points and dishing out 15 assists. Bartlett and Tony Tolovae added 14 for the home side and off the bench Joshua Fox played extended minutes to score 16 for the Hawks who played without American, Lamar Roberson who struggled in his first three games with the Hawks.

The Hawks made a solid start winning the opening quarter 18-16, but from there on and could not contain Wellington’s offense which scored 86 points in the final three quarters and ending the game shooting 58% from the field and 47% from three.

Tomorrow, will feature what should be another good game between the James Blond Supercity Rangers (2-1) and the Taranaki Mountainairs (3-1) which will be streamed live via NZ Herald and on Maori T.V, tip off 3pm.


Saturday, April 1

At Pettigrew Green Arena, Taradale

Taylor Hawks 91 (Jarrod Kenny 22, Joshua Fox 16, Everard Bartlett 14, Tony Tolovae 14)

Wellington Saints 102 (Corey Webster 33, Shea Ili 19, Tai Wesley 19)

Live Stats

Hawks suffer heart breaking loss to Taranaki

The Taylor Hawks have suffered a heart breaking 76-75 loss to the Taranaki Moutainairs extending their losing streak to 23

The Hawks looked like they were going to get their first win since June 21, 2015 when Tony Tolovae hit a three in the corner to give his side a 72-71 lead with under a minute to go, but Taranaki point guard Houston O’Riley would be fouled by Tolovae and would convert one from two to tie the scores.

Tolovae would quickly go from hero to zero on the next possession as he tried to break his defender down one on one at the top of the key which then led to a turnover and a break away basket from Brad Anderson to put the visitors up two.

Unfortunately, on the ensuing possession the Hawks made a good play which gave forward Joshua Fox an easy lay in, but it would roll out, forcing them to foul Airs forward Tylor Ongwae who would make it a two-possession ball game with both made free throws.

A bank three-pointer by Everard Bartlett would close the game to within one but it would be not enough as the Airs move back up to .500 with their second win of the season.

It would be an ugly fourth quarter from the Hawks, managing only eight points to the Airs 15. Ongwae led Taranaki again with 21 points, centre Daniel Gomis added a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds, and former Hawk Alonzo Burton added 13.

Everard Bartlett scored a team high 21 points, but struggled from the field shooting 6/17. Forward, Greg Fiorentinos added 12 points and 13 rebounds, and both Foz and Darryl Jones each added 10 off the bench.

Jarrod Kenny joined the Hawks for the first time this season and gave his side much needed stability at the point guard position dishing out seven assists and grabbing seven rebounds.  Kenny ended up playing 37 minutes but struggled from the field with six points on 1/7 shooting.

The Hawks will have another chance to end their losing streak at home to the Wellington Saints next Saturday night. Taranaki will try to win their first home game of the season when they play the SIT Zerofees Sharks next Friday night.

Sunday, March 26


At Pettigrew Green Arena, Taradale 

Taylor Hawks 75 (Everard Bartlett 21, Greg Fiorentinos 12, Darryl Jones 10, Joshua Fox 10)

Taranaki Mountainairs 76 (Tylor Ongwae 21, Alonzo Burton 13, Daniel Gomis 13)

Live Stats Link

Avid fan still supporting Hawks

The Hawks’ losing streak hasn’t stopped one avid supporter from getting to every home game and watching every away game.

Remco Meybaum, who has been supporting the Hawks since 1982, said he would continue going to the games this year and watching them lose didn’t put him off.

Read the full article on NZHerald.