Char­ac­ter key for new coach

The Napier Mail - - SPORT - LIAM HYS­LOP

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.

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