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OUR
TEAM

Players

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Staff

HEAD COACH / GM - Michael Fitchett

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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.

ASSISTANT COACH - Tom Gargiulo

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Another Nelson local, Tom Gargiulo joins the staff this year, having played for the Giants for the last two seasons.  

Like many of the Giants players, Tom grew up watching the Nelson Giants and developed a love of the game over many Friday nights at the Trafalgar Centre.  Tom is now looking forward to supporting Mike to help develop the next generation of talent and get the most out of the 2022 roster.

 

Outside of basketball, Tom works for Coca Cola Amatil as its sales representative for the top of the South. 
 

PARTNERSHIPS AND EVENTS - Julie Bensemann

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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 admin@giants.nz if you have any queries.

MANAGER - Andy Stevens

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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

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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 - Fletcher Matthews

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Fletcher has been working in the strength and conditioning world for 7 years, working with athletes and general population clients out of Tasman Performance.

Fletcher strives to get athletes moving and performing optimally through building elite training and nutrition habits.

Fletcher has joined the Giants this season and is an avid basketball fan in his down time.

STRENGTH & CONDITIONING - Claire Dallison​

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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.

Directors

Ben Douglas​

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.

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Sharon McGuire


Sharon owns her own company offering contract business services, is a skilled leader in strategic & business planning, thought leadership, relationship & stakeholder management, and service excellence. Sharon has held previous Board positions and is a Board member of Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce. Sharon cares deeply about the community and is a passionate supporter of the Giants with a drive to see young people succeed..

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Cameron Burns


Cameron comes from a media, advertising, and partnership background with over 10 years of experience working with some of the largest brands in the world including Google, Facebook, TikTok, Nestle, and KFC. He currently works as the SVP of Marketing & Partnerships at Shuttlerock. In the past, he has formed national and regional media sponsorships with the Super Rugby franchises and the Wellington Saints. His love of sport covers most codes and he has personally played National League Football for Otago United

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Volunteers

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.

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G.I.Ant

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!

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