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Experienced Australian to coach Tall Ferns

Natalie Hurst Tall Ferns basketball
Former Australia Opal Natalie Hurst will coach the Tall Ferns in 2024. PHOTO: BBNZ

Basketball New Zealand (BBNZ) has confirmed experienced Australian Natalie Hurst as Tall Ferns interim head coach.

Hurst is well-known in Australia as a point guard taking the Canberra Capitals to seven league championships in the Women's National Basketball League (WNBL) and playing 290 games over 13 seasons.


She played for the Australian Opals from 2009-2013 and enjoyed a successful career in Europe from 2012-2017, playing for Uni Györ and Hatay BB in Women’s Euroleague and also for PEAC-Pécs in Eurocup Women.

In 2020, she joined the Adelaide Lightning in the WNBL as an assistant coach for two seasons before being named head coach in 2022.

“I’m super-honoured to be given this caretaker role, it’s a short term role but I’m trying to look long-term as well – so hopefully I can come in, make a good impression on the girls and they feel comfortable with me,” said Hurst.

“I played a bunch of Oceania games against New Zealand and they were always tough and physical; they always took it to us hard and never gave up – I love that mentality and tough grit. We want to be a physical team and we want to continue representing ourselves the best way we can.

“We’ve got two big focuses now; the Japan tour and then three games in Mexico, so we want to be prepared as best we can to go out there and put our best foot forward.”

Hurst will lead the Tall Ferns in a friendly tour of Japan in June with a Tall Ferns Select Team, and a three-game Women's FIBA World Cup Pre-Qualifier series in Mexico in August.


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