The Mike Pero Nelson Giants have announced Australian-based Alan McAughtry as their new head coach for the upcoming New Zealand National Basketball League season.
The veteran coach replaces Tim Fanning, who took up an assistant coaching role in Israel during the off-season.
Alan has a background in developing youth players through his Director of Coaching role at Diamond Valley Basketball Club in Melbourne.
He is currently the assistant coach for WNBL team the Melbourne Boomers, where Nelson’s Jess Bygate is currently playing, and the Australian Under 19 team with which he will attend the World Champs in July.
Alan has also coached in the SEABL competition with the Frankstown Blues.
Director of on-court operations Phil Jones is confident Alan has all the skills to return the team to the playoffs this season.
“Alan is an experienced coach and has had a wide range of roles over a long coaching career that appealed to us.
“He likes to develop youth, which has always been important to the Nelson Giants, but also has top-level experience with Frankstown, the Melbourne Boomers, and Australian age groups teams. We believe he is also the right fit for our culture.
“The Giants are iconic in this league and an institution in our town, we hope Alan will enjoy coming here and adding to our proud history “
Alan will work with a squad largely with Tim’s fingerprints on it.
Several Nelson players return including Sam Dempster, Finn Delany and Tom Ingham.
Two imports, in Curtis Washington and Joe Slocum, have also signed on. The pre-season programme will start shortly and be managed by Claire Dallison, Brendon Bailey, and Phill Jones.
Alan will arrive in Nelson on February 22 after the completion of the Melbourne Boomers season.
The Giants finished fifth last season after their league-leading first half of the season faltered in the latter stages thanks to narrow losses and key injuries, especially to Finn Delany.
Key off-season recruits have had a focus on defence for 2017.