Tom Gargiulo lead the Wannabees in chant in 2015. The group have been a fixture of Mike Pero Nelson Giants games for about 15 years but were absent during the Giants opening home game on Saturday night. Photo: Barry Whitnall/Shuttersport.

What happened to the Wannabees?

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There was something noticeably different about the Nelson Giants opening game of 2017 – there were no chanting, hollering, towel-waving Wannabees.

The colourful group of fanatical Giants fans were notably absent from the game on Saturday night, a 93-76 loss to the Taranaki Mountainairs.

The group is responsible for such chants as “I’m blind, I’m deaf, I wanna be a ref” and are known to wave towels behind the hoop at one end of the court.

Mike Pero Nelson Giants administration and operations manager, Janie Granger, says the franchise is eager to recruit some fresh blood for the 2017 edition of the Wannabees.

She says they need between 10 and 15 people to form the group which has been a regular part of games at the Trafalgar Centre for more than 15 years.

Wannabees get free entry to home games and are given team gear to wear.

The group has traditionally come up with supporters’ chants, signs for their favourites Giants players and have made as much noise as possible to distract visiting players at the free throw line.

“Not having them there was noticeable as they generate a lot of atmosphere,” says Janie.

The group helps keep the crowd engaged during time outs and helped with giveaways during the game.

“We have people who want to do it but we need more.

The Giants’ next home game is against the Canterbury Rams on Saturday night

If you are interested you can contact the Giants through their Facebook page.