Captains Weekend is officially over as the 6pm deadline for teams to sign and submit their Captains to the League has passed. We now know who will be leading each of the 20 teams at the draft on 25 August, and at the 3X3 Schick Cup in Invercargill on 14-16 October.
Let's take a look, starting with the women's teams...
Harbour Breeze - Jazz Kailahi-Fulu
The Breeze lost a ferocious final to their big city rivals last year, and will be hungry to go one better in 2021. A great start then, is locking is Jazz Kailahi-Fulu as captain. A physical presence who knows how to get the ball in the bucket, she'll be one to watch in October.
Auckland Dream - Casyn Buchman
The Dream have moved fast to secure one of their American guns, amid interest from other teams. For many the player of the tournament in 2020, Buchman helped lead the Dream to the title with her physical play, sharp shooting, and high IQ. The Dream will be tough to beat with the captain back in place.
Bay of Plenty Blaze - Awatea Leach
A no brainer for the Blaze, returning the talismanic Leach to her rightful position. She'll be a force to be reckoned with again at the Schick Cup, and could have a real chance at winning the thing, depending on who she positions around her come draft time.
Waikato Wizards - Kayla Manuirirangi
The Wizards lose a lot of players to the Tall Ferns, but even if they didn't we think they would have lined Kayla Manuirirangi up for the top job. A court general who is a veritable triple threat in the half court, she'll be repping the red yellow and black again in 2021.
Taranaki Thunder - Tara Clement
The Thunder have used the opportunity of captaincy to lure of their own back to her hometown colours. Clement has been playing for the Otago Gold Rush in recent years, but the Taranaki native will proudly pull on the yellow and black come October. Opponents beware as Clement can sink 'em from anywhere in the half court.
Capital Swish - Jacinta Beckley
The Swish had a tough decision to make with plenty of talent to choose from in 2021. Beckley is a great pick. An experienced Tall Fern with overseas stints in Europe and Australia on her resume, she'll enter the comp as one of the players to watch. Nothing but net on this pick from the Swish.
Nelson Sparks - Amanda Wayment
The Sparks have a made a big move here. Wayment was part of the 3X3 Schick Cup winning Dream team in 2020, and the Sparks have latched onto that experience. Wayment will be a great figurehead for the Sparks to get behind as they re-enter NBL competition for the first time in a few year. The combination of her size, strength and skill will be unmatched among other bigs at the event.
Canterbury Wildcats - Lauryn Hippolite
One of the stars of the 2020 edition, Lauryn Hippolite was sure to attract some attention from other teams ahead of Captain's weekend. The decision for her, though, was an easy one. She'll run out again in the red and black after impressing last year in a team that went down to 3 players early on.
Otago Gold Rush - Nicole Ruske
Otago may have struck gold with local Nicole Ruske. The 2018 Tall Fern has worn the blue and gold for most of her basketball playing life, and will do so proudly again at the Schick Cup.
Southland Storm - Aliyah Dunn
A great get for the newly formed Southland Storm, and there'll be plenty of eyes on this code swapping star. Dunn has been part of the Silver Ferns squad, but before that she was a Junior Tall Fern. Excited to return to the game, especially in front of her hometown crowd, she could provide an x-factor to her team.
Now, a look at the men's captains...
Northland United - Mike Karena
The men's competition's newest team, Northland United, have gone for size and skill in Mike Karena. The former Ram and Giant spent the Australian NBL season with the South East Melbourne Phoenix, so United are off to a good start. His presence and touch will be hard to match, as he'll be one of the biggest players in the comp.
Auckland Huskies - Chris McIntosh
The diminutive sharp shooter was a stone cold gun at the 3X3 Schick Cup in 2020, so the Huskies have stuck with the tried and tested. A regular on the Auckland 3X3 circuit, McIntosh knows this format of the game and will again be one to watch come Invercargill.
Franklin Bulls - Denhym Brooke
Brooke excelled in the recent Sal's NBL, and the Bulls have kept him in black and yellow for the Schick Cup. The Aucklander's defensive prowess and shooting ability will translate nicely to the half court format.
Taranaki Airs - Tai Wynyard
Tai Wynyard is back for the Airs, having played for them in both formats of the game over the last two seasons. Size, strength, skill - the big fella is improving every time he hits the hardwood. Tough to stop at the 3X3 game, the Airs have locked in a good one here.
Hawke's Bay Hawks - Ethan Rusbatch
The Hawks leader on and off the court all throughout the Sal's NBL season, there's no surprise Rusbatch will reprise his role at the 3X3 Schick Cup in October. One of the best shooters in the country, we look forward to seeing him scamper back out beyond the 2pt arc once again in 2021. With his running mate Derone Raukawa not selected as a captain, Rusbatch will have his eyes on the 18 August draft order reveal with interest.
Wellington Saints - Kenneth Tuffin
Fresh off a Sal's NBL Championship, the Saints defensive powerhouse will lock and load again in blue for the 3X3 Schick Cup. A debut cup for both the Saints, they've started on the right foot by signing up the lockdown defender with the sweet lefty stroke.
Nelson Giants - Sam Dempster
No surprises here as the 15 year relationship between the Giants and Sam Dempster continues. The Nelsonian was a force at the 2020 edition of the competition, with his rebounding and shooting ability translating beautifully to the shorter format of the game. Dempster is another who'll have a keen eye on the draft order reveal as you know he'll be looking to add some familiar faces around him.
Canterbury Rams - Max Darling
A coup for the Rams here as they've locked in one of the most athletic players in the country for the 3X3 Schick Cup. Darling's explosiveness and strength could see him be a real force come October at his debut Schick Cup.
Otago Nuggets - Richie Rodger
The Nuggets have stayed local with their Sal's NBL point guard Richie Rodger. Rodger impressed over the full format season and was a part of the Nuggets team at the Schick Cup last year.
Southland Sharks - Johnny Helu
The fast stepping Johnny Helu will remain in orange as we shift to the 3X3 season. Helu had a breakout debut Sal's NBL season and the Sharks clearly like what they see. The reigning Schick Cup champs didn't get the option to select any of their winning team from last year due to 3X3 Tall Blacks duties, so Helu will have big shoes to fill. Those shoes however, will need to withstand the quickest first step in NZ hoops.
We'll find out in what order the Captains will draft their teams on 18 August when the draft order is revealed. Then, on 25 August, the drafts themselves.
Tickets to the Schick Cup are on sale now - click HERE.