HEAD COACH - Michael Fitchett
A born and bred Nelsonian, Mike played 9 seasons for the Giants, including the 2007 Championship season.
He is currently an Assistant Coach with the Tall Blacks, a role he has held since 2017, and also spent 3 seasons as an Assistant Coach with the NZ Breakers in the Australian NBL.
Mike is passionate about junior development and brings a lot of experience from his time coaching and managing the NZ Breakers Academy and involvement in New Zealand U16 and U17 teams.
Mike came on board as the Nelson Giants Head Coach in 2019.
ADMINISTRATOR - Julie Bensemann
Julie has been in the role of Administrator for the Nelson Giants since 2016.
Julie is across all aspects of the Club, from sponsorship, to marketing, to game night delivery. It is safe to say that without Julie’s hard work, we would not be able to put a team on the floor and provide Nelson with one of its best nights out.
Julie’s great work was recognised by the NZ NBL when she was awarded the Administrator of the Year Award in 2019.
Julie can answer all things Giants related, so please contact her on if you have any queries.
MANAGER - Andy Stevens
Another Nelson local, Andy was a passionate Giants supporter before joining the Nelson Giants team as a volunteer in 2018.
Now an integral part of the Giants set up, Andy’s work often goes unnoticed, but he does the 'one percenters' that allow the players to focus on the game and perform at their peak.
Andy is also a great person to have around the locker room - friendly, approachable, calm - important characteristics in a role that often doubles as a sounding board for players before, after and during games.
PHYSIOTHERAPIST - Ashlee Lusty
Ashlee is the owner/operator of Perform Physiotherapy, the physiotherapy provider for the Nelson Giants.
After working with the team in 2018, Ashlee became the Giants' sole physio in 2019.
Ashlee graduated with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy with Distinction from the University of Otago as the top clinical student in 2013. She also completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Sports Physiotherapy in 2015.
Ashlee provides invaluable support to Mike and the team on the road, taking care of management and logistics away from home.
STRENGTH & CONDITIONING - Claire Dallison
Claire Dallison has been working with the Nelson Giants since 1995. Legendary for her preseason beach fitness sessions, Claire is the reason the Giants have a reputation for being the best conditioned team in the NBL.
Claire teaches Fitness in the Sport and Recreation course at NMIT and through AUT.
She was also the Tall Blacks S&C trainer from 2007 - 2014, combining this with the role of Manager from 2008 - 2014.
In 2018, Claire was awarded BBNZ’s prestigious Murray McMahon Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution to Men’s Basketball.
Ben is a Chartered Accountant with nearly 20 years’ experience, and is as a founding director of Johnston Associates Chartered Accountants. Ben joined the Board of the Nelson Giants in 2019. Outside of work Ben carved out a rugby career that includes stints at provincial level in Southland, Otago & Tasman. Ben now enjoys time mountain biking, running, golfing and spending time with whanau.
Tony is CEO of Bowater Toyota and the company has won numerous national motoring awards, including Supreme Winner of the 2020 Toyota Business Awards. Bowater Toyota has been a core sponsor of the Giants for 20 years. Tony joined the Board of the Nelson Giants in 2018. A born and bred Nelsonian, Tony is heavily involved in many community initiatives.
Huw is one of New Zealand’s foremost basketball journalists and broadcasters in New Zealand. He has worked at TV3 (now Newshub), Crowd Goes Wild, and currently covers all things basketball at Sky Sport. Huw has also just been appointed as Tall Blacks manager. We are fortunate to have Huw join the Giants as a director, having recently moved to Nelson with his young family.
We are very lucky to have a fantastic group of volunteers that give their time and effort to the Club. Without this group, we would be able to produce our game night. From stadium set up and pack down, to score bench duties and statistics recording, to being our fire wardens, our volunteers always come through for us.
Our thanks goes to -
Wayne Bensemann, Steve Fitchett, Wayne Bowen, Judy Campbell, Trevor Carsten, Corbin Christie, Miriam Clark, Phil Daly, Tracy Daly, James Fitchett, Juanita Ingham, Pauline Pellow, Jill Macklin, Paula Roberts, Margaret Robertson, Barbara Sheed, Judy Totoro, Dick Walker, Heather Walker, Dallas Ward, Jan Winfield and Peter Winfield.
Our mascot, G.I. ANT, is a huge part of our game night, bringing plenty of energy and joy to our crowd.
A huge hit with the youngsters, G.I. ANT is known around the NZ NBL as one of the top mascots in the league!