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2024
TEAM

Players

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2023 Staff

HEAD COACH / General Manager - 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 NBS Nelson Giants Head Coach in 2019.

ASSISTANT COACH - Ben Sheat

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Ben joined the Giants staff in 2023 after relocating from Christchurch to Nelson. Previously, he served as the assistant coach for the Canterbury Rams for four seasons. 

Over the past 20 years, he has coached New Zealand age group, representative, and high school teams.

 

Currently he is the Head coach of the U15 NZ mens team. Ben is also a teacher at Nayland College, where he coaches the Senior A boys' team.

ASSISTANT COACH - Tom Gargiulo

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Another Nelson local, Tom Gargiulo joined the staff in 2022, having played for the Giants for two seasons prior to that.  

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. 
 

MANAGER 2023 - Andy Stevens

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Another Nelson local, Andy was a passionate Giants supporter before joining the NBS 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. 

HEALTH TEAM LEAD - Claire Dallison​

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 Legendary for her preseason beach fitness sessions, Claire has been working with the NBS Nelson Giants since 1995 and now oversees the Health Team. 

 

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.

STRENGTH & CONDITIONING - Fletcher Matthews

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Fletcher has been working in the strength and conditioning world since 2015, 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.

SPORTS CHAPLAIN - Jared Lebezeit

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Jared serves as the Nelson Giants' Sports Chaplain and works for Annesbrook Church as Executive Pastor. 

Sports Chaplains are volunteers in sports communities providing free, accessible pastoral care, support and mentoring to athletes and staff.  Jared is passionate about supporting and uplifting members of the NBS Nelson Giants and of course the wider Nelson community.

In his spare time Jared loves all things sports and spending time on the boat with his family. 

ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER  - Huw Beynon

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Giants fans will know Huw as the lead commentator for Sky Sport at our home games.

 

A former General Manager of the NBL, he has spent time on the Giants board, and joins the Giants front office for the 2024 season.


The plucky father of three battles in the local club basketball scene and is a constant on the tennis courts of Nelson. After Giants season, Huw crosses the Maitai to Trafalgar Park where he acts as the Team Manager for the Tasman Mako.

COMMUNITY MANAGER  - Julie Bensemann

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Julie has been with the NBS Nelson Giants since 2016 and has worn many hats!

She was awarded the Administrator of the Year for the NBL in both 2018 and 2019 for her efforts, and has been the most integral part of the Club for many years. 

Julie is now co-ordinating our Community engagement, including our Giants in Schools programme. For any Community initiative enquiries, please contact Julie on community@nelsongiants.basketball.

MARKETING / SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER  - Jamie O'Donnell

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Jamie has managed the NBS Nelson Giants' social media and marketing strategy and delivery since 2022, helping us grow our ticket sales and social media engagement hugely in this time and making our team much more accessible to Nelson fans. 

Outside of his NBS Nelson Giants' role, Jamie provides high performance coaching for business leaders and athletes with a focus on breathwork and stress management.  

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 NBS 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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Aaron Brown

Aaron is a project and company director based in Whakatū, where he lives with his wife and three school aged children.  He currently owns and directs Future Workshop Ltd, and has previously held senior positions in a number of cultural and commercial agencies including 12 years as Head of Concepts and Research at New Zealand Post Collectibles; as Acting Kaiwhakahaere and Senior Researcher for Karanga Aotearoa Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand; and as Principal Consultant or Director on a large number of multi-scale activation and implementation projects in Aotearoa and abroad.

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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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