Character key for new coach
Basketballers looking solely for a pay cheque need not apply at the Bay Hawks.
New coach Zico Coronel, who joins the Hawke’s Bay franchise from being an assistant coach at the Wellington Saints, has said he will go about developing a strong team culture to ensure success next season.
That’s not to say the Hawks, who finished fifth of seven teams last season with a 4-14 record, were a rabble. Coronel said he didn’t pay much attention to what they were doing off the court as he was too busy helping plot the Saints’ path to a perfect 20-0, titlewinning season.
But what he does know is what he wants in a team in what will be his first season as a National Basketball League head coach.
‘‘We want people of good character and good ability, those are probably the two most important things.
‘‘Culture is the number one thing that underpins you being successful. Pretty much the way to have good culture is to sign people with good character.’’
It will be with that approach that the 34-year-old tries to return the Hawks to relevance.
They have been dismal for the past three seasons.
Financial difficulties were the main reason for the dip, but Coronel thinks they are on the cusp of something great.
‘‘They have a lot of good building blocks. They were in some financial strife, but Keith Price, the chairman, has done an excellent job to get them to a much better financial position.
‘‘Taylor Corporation, the primary sponsor, has come on board and been really excellent as well in helping with that.
‘‘They were a bit better last year and I think the groundwork is there to make a big jump in 2018.’’
Hawke’s Bay’s New Zealand secondary school squash reps practise their doubles game. From left, Jena Gregory, Jess Dean, Sam Harding and Ally Harding.