A New Era for the Hawks
And so it came to pass. On Tuesday night the old Hawks basketball franchise handed over its reins to the new one.
Interim general manager Paul Trass yesterday confirmed the Rodney Earnshaw-owned Bay Hawks Ltd and Napier Basketball Association are now in the hands of a five-member board meeting today to formalise matters.
"The lunchtime meeting will be their first and that's when the new constitution will be adopted," Trass said following last week's disclosure that coach Paul Henare will be at the helm of the Southland Sharks when the National Basketball League (NBL) tips off in April 2013.
BP service station franchise owner Earnshaw had also confirmed he was calling it quits.
Basketball Hawke's Bay, the amateur wing of the code in the province, will be part of the set-up but will operate autonomously from the professional wing.
"There'll be no financial ties between the two," Trass said.
The new franchise, likely to be called Hawke's Bay Basketball Development Foundation, will not just provide a structure for the professional body but also ensure men's and women's national teams are entered in their respective leagues.
However, the franchise will be based at Basketball HB's headquarters in Onekawa, Napier.
"That means if you are a fan of a year one or two kid, or the NBL, you can phone one place, so we're putting basketball under one umbrella and that's going to be wonderful," he said.
The board meeting today comprises David Aflallo, the manager of Kennedy Park Top 10 Resort, James Haggerty, the GM of Global Sport, Colin Francis, the chairman of Davmet, Blair Cross, the CEO of HBS Bank, and Bernard Walsh, the CEO of Weld Well NZ.
Aflallo is a former Israel international basketballer who also played in Europe professionally.
Haggerty, who is a commercial agent for Bayley's Real Estate, was instrumental in running the NBL in the most successful NBL period - the Rheineck era - according to Trass.
The meeting today was going to appoint the chairman of the new board as well as decide who else can contribute to the body, capable of having eight members.
He didn't want to elaborate on anything else for fear of treading on the toes of the new board.
However, some commentators believe former Hawks coach and American-born Curtis Wooten, who runs a basketball academy at Hastings Boys' High School, is likely to be appointed a manager.
The board is expected to look at the option of having a CEO or split the managerial responsibilities, for example, such as operations manager and chief operating officer.
It seems the ideal coaching option is to woo Napier Girls' High School teacher and former Tall Ferns skipper Kirstin Taylor (nee Daly) as coach, with ex-Hawk Willie Burton her assistant.
Taylor and Burton were Henare's assistant coaches last season.
While it wasn't feasible for Taylor to give up paid employment to coach full time, some commentators believe that a full-time, open-ended coaching stint would probably change her current stance.
Henare is thought to be NBL's first full-time, paid coach in the country, believed to be commanding a salary of about $70,000 under the previous franchise.
Nevertheless, under that contract the coach was expected to assist with mentoring Tall Blacks, Tall Ferns and at development camps with age-group players all year round.