Veteran Tall Fern Micaela Cocks is returning to New Zealand for the new women’s national league.
Kiwi basketball legend Megan Compain calls it a “game-changer’, while Tall Ferns assistant coach Jody Cameron believes the revamped national women’s basketball league will have major spinoffs at the top level of the sport.
Basketball New Zealand on Wednesday unveiled its new women’s league, which it has dubbed Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa. Tauihi is the Te Reo Māori word for “to soar”, and organisers are highly optimistic it can live up to its moniker, with salaries governed by the league and established “on a par” with their men’s equivalent.
The league will consist of five regional teams competing over eight weeks, with each team playing six home and six away games. It will tip off on June 29, with a finals series scheduled for August 26 at Nelson’s Trafalgar Centre venue.
The five teams are Northern (name to be announced), Whai (representing mid-North), Tokomanawa Queens (Central), Mainland Pouakai (upper South) and Southern Hoiho (lower South).
Cameron, who will coach the Auckland based Northern side, told Stuff the new league provided a much-needed development tier for New Zealand’s top basketballers and she praised the decision to provide player payment parity with the men’s league.
“Good things take time; also good things take good people,” she said of a league that has been some time in the works, but looks set to provide a shot in the arm for the women’s game in New Zealand.
“Good people have come to the front and seen this needs to happen. They’ve realised it’s a great time and opportunity to get this thing rolling. It’s really deserving in the female space and all credit to the people who have done that hard work.”
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