With a month until the Sal’s NBL 2020 competition tips off in Auckland, the Steelformers Taranaki Mountainairs have secured former NBL Waikato Pistons coach and New Zealand U17 assistant coach Doug Courtney to lead the way.
A teacher at Rotorua Boys High School, Courtney is well known in basketball circles and respected for his work with the Pistons and some of the nation’s best talent from his stints with the Kiwi U17s at the World Championships and Asian Championships, the latter tournament yielding a bronze medal.
“I am excited by the opportunity to be a part of the Mountainairs in the newly revamped Sal’s NBL,” said Courtney.
“My expectations as Head Coach, together with the organisation, is to put together a competitive team built around current and local players. The draft is an exciting element with a number of top-level players set to be involved and available.”
Courtney will be ably assisted by 14-year NBL veteran Joshua Paurini, who spent the bulk of his playing career with the Airs between 2005 and 2012.
The Airs have worked hard in recent weeks and mustered strong local support for the 2020 campaign, where they’ll face the Nelson Giants in the competition’s opening game on Tuesday June 23.
“We are really excited about this year’s competition,” said Airs Chairman, Laine Hopkinson, adding “Locking Doug and Josh in to lead our team is a big step in the right direction. We think they will be a great combination and ideal for this year’s format.”
The Sal’s NBL Draft is set for Thursday June 11. To be eligible for selection, players must register for the Player Draft at www.nznbl.basketball from Monday May 25 through to Friday June 5.