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Saints Agree to Terms with Aussie Legend Heal 04 Feb 2014

Saints Press Release: Heal to Coach Saints

Arguably one of the biggest names in Australasia basketball and sports, “Shane Heal has agreed to terms with the Wellington Saints to coach them for the 2014 Bartercard National Basketball League Season.

Pending finalisation of paperwork, Heal, who is currently coaching the Sydney Kings in the ANBL, will take up the reins as Head Coach of the Wellington Saints upon the conclusion of the 2013-2014 ANBL season.

“While my focus is squarely aimed at helping the Kings with a championship right now, I’m really looking forward to coaching in NZ in the offseason and most especially with the Wellington Saints. They have a proud history and plenty of success and this attracted me to coach with them during the ANBL offseason,” said Heal.

It has been a long and arduous process for the Saints who made the position open after four seasons with Pero Cameron.

The signing of Heal comes as a very big coup for the seven time champions who much like the Kings have both been glamour teams of their respective leagues.

"This is a fantastic signing for the Saints and the city as Shane is unquestionably one the highest profile basketball identityies in Australasia."

"Shane will bring toughness and tenacity to the organization and will instantly command respect." 

Heal is one of Australia's best ever basketball players, captaining the Australian Boomers, playing at four Olympics and most notably scoring 28 points against the USA Dream Team 3 in an exhibition game.

In 1996, NBA team Minnesota Timberwolves would sign Heal and he would also play a season for the San Antonio Spurs.

Heal would play in Europe and also Australia playing 440 ANBL games, including captaining the Sydney Kings to their first ever title in 2003.

The 43 year old started his coaching career as a player/coach with the South Melbourne Dragons in 2006-2008 and in 2009 was appointed as an assistant coach to the Australian Boomers.

Heal is currently in charge of the Kings who are sitting at fourth, very much in the hunt for the playoffs.

"He has done it all and I can't stress enough how big this is for basketball in this country," Mills said

Heal will be of great benefit to Saints roster in particular point guard Lindsay Tait, as both play the same position and know what it is like to lead their respective national teams.


“I’m looking forward to working with Lindsay Tait as point guard and I aim to help him in his preparation for the World Cup. I hope we have other Tall Black players to work with in due course too.”


“I hope I can help Wellington win a Championship and this will be my only goal for the season ahead.”

Shane Heal Facts At A Glance

Represented Australia at 4 Olympic Games – 1992, 1996, 2000 & 2004.

Captained Australia at the 2004 Olympics Games.

Represented Australia at 3 World Championships – 1987 (Junior), 1994 &  1998 More total points and assists than any other player in the world at the 1996, 2000 & 2004 Olympics.

NBA – Minnesota Timberwolves 1996-97

NBA – San Antonio Spurs 2003

3 years in powerful Greek League – All Star in 2 years.

Stint in Italian League

15 seasons in NBL

8 years NBL All Star

Captain of Sydney Kings first ever Championship.

Youngest player to ever score 1000 points in NBL.

Once scored 61 points in NBL game.

Scored 8 – 3 point baskets against the USA Dream Team at the 1996 Olympics.

Return to NBL in 2006 with South Dragons as Player/Coach.

Signed with NBL Team, Gold Coast Blaze for 2008 Season.

Appointed Assistant Coach of the Australian Team in 2009

Appointed Head Coach of the Sydney Kings in 2012

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