Sam Dempster, Tom Ingham and Riley Bensemann have been spending the off season playing other sports. Photo: Jonty Dine

No off-season for Giants


The basketball court is not the only sports arena where the Nelson Giants stand tall.

A trio from the franchise, Tom Ingham, Riley Bensemann and captain Sam Dempster, have been spending the off season shining on the cricket, touch and rugby pitch.

Cricketer Tom says, while basketball remains his priority, he plans to continue the balancing act as long as possible.

Tom has enjoyed success on both the court and pitch, representing the Nelson Griffins for the past two seasons.

He says, while notching up high scores and making rep teams is “always awesome,” his best cricketing moment came when batting with his father.

“Getting to bat with my dad in senior cricket after watching him all my childhood was awesome.”

Tom says basketball comes first but as long as he is playing with good team mates and enjoying some success with the bat he will keep playing both.

“Cricket is tough after Christmas to balance with basketball as I want as little distractions as possible building into the Giants’ pre-season – so rep cricket has to take a back seat, but I’ll still try play club as much as I can.”

Giants skipper Sam Dempster recently ran out for the Stoke sevens side, which won the Motueka tournament two weeks ago.

Sam was an integral part of the team, his grunt work at the breakdown allowing the speedsters out wide to shine. The shooting guard says the win was the highlight of his footy career so far.

He says sevens works in the off season well, but basketball and the Giants will always be his priority.

Riley Bensemann says summer touch is a great way to stay fit during the off season and spend time with his friends.

Riley plays for the Baba in the Waimea Old Boys Touch competition.

“It’s not too hard to balance as it’s only one night a week with no trainings, and if there’s ever a clash with basketball, basketball would take preference.”