The SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks have taken an early and key step in their planning for the 2018 National Basketball League by re-signing Head Coach Judd Flavell for a further two years.
Being able to retain Flavell, who is also an assistant coach at the New Zealand Breakers, was a “no-brainer” according to Sharks General Manager Jill Bolger.
“Judd has been in charge of our team for two seasons now and it has all worked perfectly from our point of view. He has the respect of both the players and the Sharks as his employer, and this is demonstrated in the quality of player he has been able to bring to Invercargill. His professionalism, enthusiasm and attention to detail is, I believe, unparalleled in the NZ NBL,” Bolger said.
“We are so fortunate that we are able to make Invercargill and the Sharks an attractive option for someone like Judd and his family,” she added. “There are not many New Zealand coaches of his calibre and experience around.”
Bolger said that Flavell has fully immersed himself in the Southland Basketball community and culture and works closely with Development Officer, Dan Peck, identifying and supporting young players into the Sharks environment and it is anticipated he will devote some time with representative coaches in the next two years.
Flavell said he jumped at the chance to extend his tenure in the south.
“For me it was an easy decision. It came down to the people, the staff, our support team and the players and the support we get from fans, sponsors and the general public. It’s a community town and a community team which makes it such an attractive environment for anyone to come in to,” he said.
“Our success this year was built on the foundation we laid in 2016. My first priority is to continue to build on last season. I thought we were right there and where we deserved to be and next season we want to again contend for a championship,” Flavell said.
2017 Sharks Derone Raukawa, Luke Aston and James Hunter all featured prominently for the NZ Select team over the last fortnight on its six-game tour of China, something Flavell puts down to the Sharks environment.
“It’s one of the strengths of the Sharks’ programme. That’s no secret now. You have everything at your disposal in the Sharks and we celebrate those successes and take real pride in seeing our players launch their careers,” he said.