Mainland Eagles 2023 Summer Camp Recap

From December 8th to December 11th, up to 59 athletes and 49 coaches were invited to take part in the Mainland Eagles 2023 Summer Camp.

The camp opened on Friday evening with a combine for a smaller set of athletes where anthropometric data was collected and athletic testing was conducted. This included recording heights, wingspans, vertical jumps, lane agility times and 20-metre sprint times. 

The following morning, all invitees gathered at Mainpower Stadium in Rangiora, Canterbury, to prepare for an action-packed weekend of basketball and learning. After an introductory overview of the camp by Performance Director Judd Flavell and Eagles Head Coach Adam Morgan, the athletes dug right into a film session, led by Flavell, covering the core concepts of focus for their first on-court session. 

The Eagles Summer Camp isn’t just excellent for player development, but also a perfect environment for developing coaches. The South Island Residential Coaches Workshop runs in conjunction with the Eagles Summer Camp, providing coaches from across the South Island with an opportunity to work alongside and learn from some of the South Island’s best coaching minds. Basketball New Zealand’s People Development Lead for the South Island, Lori McDaniel, led the workshop and supported 25 workshop coaches over the weekend in applying their on-court observations to their own coaching contexts. 

On-Court Coach Leyton Haddleton and Academy Athlete Ihaka Cate

“The athletes & on-court coaches benefited a great deal from the leadership of Judd Flavell, and the workshop coaches of the expertise from BBNZ Coach Developer Lori McDaniel,” said Canterbury Regional Basketball Foundation General Manager Caleb Harrison. 

“It is great to see a high number of coaches gaining valuable experience and skills at workshops such as these,” stated Basketball New Zealand People Development Lead Nick Hogan. “Basketball New Zealand is committed to supporting upskilling opportunities for coaches across the country and the South Island Residential Coaches Workshop highlights one of the great opportunities that exists.”

In total, six South Island basketball associations were represented by on-court and performance coaches at the camp, while seven were represented by workshop coaches. 

“It is pleasing to see a wide variety of associations represented at this workshop and hope all coaches will be able to take the skills and knowledge they have learnt back to and share with others in their respective associations,” added Hogan. 

Outside of on-court sessions, film analysis and off-court education were staple points of the camp. Eagles alumni Taylor Britt and Lauryn Hippolite delivered a talk on pathways in basketball, detailing their careers as professionals and members of the Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns. Athletes also received an opportunity to hear from Shawn Stewart – the Basketball New Zealand Performance & Prevention Project Lead – who gave a presentation on performance and prevention with a focus on developing awareness to improve wellbeing.

Following the conclusion of the end-of-year camp, we have a set of goodbyes to say and gratitudes to express. The first of these is to Eagles Head Coach Adam Morgan, who will be stepping away from the Eagles to pursue other opportunities in 2024. Adam was appointed Eagles Head Coach in 2021 but has been involved with the organisation since 2020. He began his journey with the Eagles at the 2020 South Island Residential Coaches Workshop as a Workshop Coach and since then has had a significant impact on player development throughout the region. Quinn Clinton is set to step into the role of Eagles Head Coach in 2024. Clinton most recently played for the Canterbury Rams championship winning team and is the Senior A Coach at Christ’s College.

Mainland Eagles Head Coach Adam Morgan receiving a parting gift.

“We are looking forward to 2024 with former Eagles athlete Quinn Clinton retiring from playing and taking on the mantle as Academy Head Coach and working alongside Judd Flavell in supporting the athlete & coaches development throughout the region,” said Harrison. “Quinn has a great deal of experience & basketball knowledge to share with the players with him having captained Junior National teams and playing at the highest US college level at St Mary’s College.”

Moses Bygate-Smith will also be stepping away as the Eagles Strength & Conditioning Coach, as he begins his doctoral research on a scholarship from the University of Waikato. Bygate-Smith took on the role of Head S&C Coach for the Eagles in 2021. “Moses joined the organisation as an intern and he has made significant contributions since day one,” said Harrison. Bygate-Smith will be handing over the position to Tom Faulks, who has spent the past season as an assistant S&C coach with the Canterbury Rams and is presently doing an internship with the University of Louisville Men’s Basketball Team.

Another massive thank you goes out to Greg Brockbank, who will be joining North Harbour Basketball as their new Director of Basketball. Brockbank has been at the forefront of basketball development in Otago and has been a major part of the Eagles Academy since its inception in 2014. “We thank Greg Brockbank for all of his contributions to the Eagles Academy and wish him all the best for his new role with Harbour Basketball,” said Harrison.  

Thank you to R+B Build for their continual backing of the Mainland Eagles Academy as a supporting partner. We would also like to thank Catalyst and Basketball New Zealand for their support of the Summer Camp & Residential Coaches Workshop.

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