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New Tall Ferns And New Series Sponsor Named

MEDIA RELEASE

23 August 2001

New Tall Ferns And New Series Sponsor Named


The 2001 EziBuy Tall Ferns squad has been named to play next month against Australia in the new Freedom Air Series.

This best of three series against the Olympic silver medallists will determine the Oceania qualifier for the World Championships held in Japan next year.

The squad includes three new-caps, Charmian Smith, Renee Wharekura and Angelina Yates. Tall Ferns coach, Tracy Carpenter described them as young and talented players whom he was looking forward to seeing play along side the more experienced players.

“The nucleus of the team from the Olympics has pretty much stayed in tact. There is a nice blend of youth and experience,” said Carpenter.

The naming of the squad coincides with the three year signing of Freedom Air as series naming rights sponsors for all International tests played within New Zealand. Freedom Air has also signed as associate sponsors to the Tall Blacks.

Tracy Carpenter acknowledged the new sponsorship as being a huge boost for the team.

“We are incredibly appreciative to have Freedom Air as sponsors,” he said.

David Crocker, Chief Executive of Basketball New Zealand said of the new sponsorship:


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“Having a new long-term sponsor means the Tall Ferns can start developing a quality international program to include several touring countries to New Zealand each year.”

Wayne Dodge, Freedom Air vice-president/general manager, says the airline is delighted to come on board with its sponsorship support. “Basketball is a fresh, exciting sport with attitude and, like Freedom Air, our top-flight basketballers are rapidly emerging as major players on both the domestic and international scene,” Dodge says.

“Freedom Air and the Tall Ferns and Tall Blacks make a great partnership, and we will be supporting them with a courtside presence, innovative promotions and some great sports gear to make sure they always stand tall.”

Dodge says Kiwis are great sports fans, and Freedom Air is proud to be able to help in the development of a sport with such huge potential. “Basketball is the fastest growing sport for young people in this country and Freedom Air is looking forward to working with our basketballers and their fans.”

Australia are yet to name their players for the Freedom Air Series but Tracy Carpenter has no doubts as to the ability of whomever makes their squad.

“They have some women that are starting players for WNBA teams in America that won’t even make the Australian squad,” said Carpenter.

Carpenter said it would be hard going straight into the tests against Australia but that his side would prepare as best they could by having a two-week camp prior to the first test.

“I love challenges and this is a great challenge,” he said.

The EziBuy Tall Ferns for the Freedom Air Series are:

Belinda Colling (Christchurch)
Megan Compain (Philadelphia)
Rebecca Cotton (Wellington)
Gina Farmer (Hungary)
Sally Farmer (Auckland)
Donna Loffhagen (Christchurch)
Julie Ofsoski (Melbourne)
Charmian Smith (Auckland)
Antonia Solomon (Auckland)
Renee Wharekura (Texas)
Angelina Yates (Dunedin)

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Coach: Tracy Carpenter
Assistant Coach: Phil Burns
Assistant Coach: Gilly McFarlane
Manager: Lee Norris

Of the squad selected to play in the subsequently cancelled Croatia tour, Lisa Pardon, Nicki Thompson and Tania Tupu (nee Brunton) were all unavailable for this Freedom Air Series against Australia.


ends


For more information please contact:

Christine Growse
Communications Manager
Strategic Sports
Ph: 04 902 6193
Mobile: 021 776 783

Wayne Dodge
Vice-president/general manager
Freedom Air
Ph: 09 912 6980

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