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Australian Opals captain Tess Madgen to make her BNZ Kāhu debut on Thursday.

BNZ Northern Kāhu are delighted to announce that Tess Madgen has joined the team and will suit up for their next Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa fixture against Whai, in Tauranga on Thursday night.

Being both an Olympian and a former WNBA player, Tess is the highest credentialed player the BNZ Kāhu have signed and arguably the player with the largest profile to have suited up in the fledgling competition.

The current Australian National Team captain, Madgen led the Opals (ranked #3 on the FIBA World Rankings) at the 2022 FIBA World Cup where the Australians claimed a bronze medal. Only last month Tess led the Australian team to a bronze medal finish at the 2023 FIBA Asia Cup in Sydney scoring 14 points against the Tall Ferns in the bronze medal game.

Much to her delight a significant number of that Tall Ferns team are now Madgen’s new teammates at the BNZ Kāhu.

“When I told friends in Australia who was on the team they were impressed with the depth of talent on the team. We have a great group of players, all very smart and athletic.”

Madgen’s arrival comes at a time when the team are 4-3 on the season with five regular season games remaining.

“I would have liked to have been here for the whole season but circumstances prevented that. I’m fully aware that the team finished second last year and the aim is to go one better this time and now that we have a full squad assembled that is our main focus.”

Madgen already feels very much at home.

“Everyone has been so welcoming, not only my new teammates but also Maria and the management team and coach Jody (Cameron). I’m looking forward to stepping on court on Thursday and being part of the Tauihi – a national competition that the New Zealand players are so deserving of.”

Kāhu centre Penina Davidson couldn’t be more delighted to team up with Madgen again.

“I've had the privilege of seeing her leadership and competitiveness first hand as she led us, at the Melbourne Boomers, to a WNBL championship.

”I’ve witnessed how much she cares about people and women in sports and it is that wonderful quality that I love the most about her. Madgeys heart alone makes us the luckiest team in the league to have picked her up.”

Madgen debuted for Australia in 2011 and has since made over 70 appearances in the green and gold singlet. Madgen played on the silver medal winning team at the 2018 FIBA World Cup in Spain whilst also appearing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Tess first played in the Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) for the Australian Institute of Sport as a teenager in 2008 and has subsequently played for Melbourne Boomers, Bendigo Spirit and Townsville Fire, winning a championship with the Boomers in 2022.

Madgen also played in the WNBA for the Phoenix Mercury in 2015 and also played one season in Poland (2015-16).

BNZ Northern Kāhu play away games against Whai in Tauranga on Thursday August 17 and Mainland Pouākai in Christchurch on Sunday August 20.

Local basketball fans will get the opportunity to see Madgen and the BNZ Kāhu on Sunday August 27 and Monday September 4 at Eventfinda Stadium.


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