Nelson Giants coach Tim Fanning is spanning the globe in an effort to benefit the NBL franchise next year.
Since the Giants season ended in April, the 32-year-old Oakland, California, native has been to Las Vegas for an NBA Showcase camp for free agent players, attended the Philadelphia 76ers NBA training camp, spent time in Madrid, and is currently “watching as much basketball as possible” while in Israel spending time with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
“I’m trying to make use of not having a partner or kids and see as much basketball, and learn as much as I can, while I’m young.”
Tim says one of his major focuses while away has been looking at defensive systems as he pin-pointed defence as an area where the Giants struggled in 2016.
He says the signing of former Wellington Saint Dion Prewster was a step to solving the issue.
“We spoke to our guys at the end of the season about guys they felt were hard to match up against and (Dion’s) name came up quite a bit.”
The coach, who will look to return to Nelson in mid-January for his third season in charge, believes he has the right mix of Nelson-based players and newcomers from outside the region.
“The secret to the franchise in Nelson is that we give opportunities to up-and-coming players from the region.
“We thought Finn [Delany] would have a big year for us and he did, and he’s going to be a great guy to have back after he finishes with the Breakers. You know you’re going to get a better player back with him because he’s so mentally tough like that.”
The Giants will also be looking for two new import players.
“I already know the guard I am going to sign but it’s a case of finding one more player, probably in the backcourt.”
There will also be no presence from Giants legend Phill Jones, who retired last season.
Phill is helping behind the scenes in the lead-up to the season but has hinted at wanting to keep a low profile and enjoy time with his family.
“Given the amount of experience Phill has, I’d be silly not to at least have him available for advice throughout the season,” Tim says.
“I’m keen to come back and do the best I can for the Giants.”