It'll be hard going past the Daly Dynasty in Hawke's Bay when it comes to basketball.

It was commonplace to find Craig Daly at the dining table of their Greenmeadows home with then wife Donnette and their children, Kirstin and Aidan, conducting postmortems on matches.

No doubt Donnette, a seven-time Bay women's title-winning player who went on to become an international referee, presided when the others tabled their views on how the rules of the game should be interpreted.

"Yes, we often discussed rules interpretation over the dinner table and we used to question Mum a lot," Kirstin says.


Craig, 64, a transportation design engineer from Napier, assumes the mantle of chief interviewee after a few minutes as Kirstin Taylor, 42, and Aidan, 33, have to be part of HBS Bank Hawks coach Paul Henare's scrimmaging session at the Woodford House gym.

The trio were to jet off to Nelson this afternoon to play against the Chris Tupu-coached Giants in a 7pm tip-off tonight at the Trafalgar Centre.

They will then complete their double-header against defending champions Wellington Saints at the TSB Centre in the capital city at the same time tomorrow night.

A Bay senior men's representative (known as Headley Homes Hawke's Bay in those days), Craig went on to co-coach the team to third place in the National Basketball League (NBL) with US import player Tom De Marcus. He is now the Hawks team manager.

"After that Donnette's refereeing came in. My coaching career could have carried on," he says, having won the national title in 1976 as a player when the first American import to the Bay, Ed Donohue III, was player/coach.

That he didn't quite make it to the Tall Blacks level still disappoints him.

"I was picked for the New Zealand team but the New Zealand Games (1976) in Christchurch after the Commonwealth Games there in 1974 was cancelled because of a lack of funds."

Kirstin, a science teacher at Napier Boys' High School, did represent her country, going on to become Tall Ferns captain and the most-capped player with more than 100 games.

"Kirstin was just totally focused. She had her whole life set out," Craig says of his daughter who is co-assistant coach of the Hawks with Willie Burton.

Married to former AFL player Michael Taylor, Kirstin turned down the chance to be the first woman in New Zealand and Australia to coach a men's NBL team, the Wellington Saints, in September 2001.

"The whole excitement of being the first woman and the attention that would get, that's not why I'd want to do it.

"The reason I want to coach is because I love the game. I'd want to do it because I was the best person for the job and not because I'd look good in a short skirt on the sideline on TV," she reportedly said.

Craig says Kirstin, as an 8-year-old at Greenmeadows School, wrote an essay on what her life would be like.

"She wanted to play basketball, go to a US college and play for the Tall Ferns," he said of his daughter who went on to attend the University of Colorado State.

Born nine years later, Aidan was a different species.

"He was the opposite and needed more grounding than Kirstin. They were two different personalities."

Both Aidan, mostly in Napier, and Kirstin recall going around the basketball venues shooting hoops whenever their parents travelled, played or officiated.

In those days they didn't have NBL so a national tournament was held in Palmerston North after the qualifying games.

"At the 1994 World Champs I was playing [for the Tall Ferns] and Mum was the referee all over Australia.

"Mum and I were together so that was pretty cool," she says, adding their Greenmeadow house used to be full of referees at times, while Craig was in charge of making draws.

Aidan, also a school teacher at Port Ahuriri Primary School, has played for other franchises such as the Wellington Saints, the Christchurch Cougars and Manawatu Jets but a Tall Blacks stint proved elusive.

Craig recalls spending half the season travelling to Palmerston North to watch Aidan play the Jets' home games.

Needless to say, the Dalys are proud of both their children who played basketball in winter and competed in athletics in summer.

Craig was a national sprint champion in 1968, missing out on the Christchurch Commonwealth Games in 1974 due to injury.

Neither Craig nor Donnette were point guards as such, although he did attest to playing just about any position as a shooting guard/small forward, but feels Kirstin and Aidan assumed the mantle of court general because of their ball skills.

"Half the reason is that they had the ball in their hands all the time and were always dribbling so they became point guards."

He doesn't know where the teaching came from for Kirstin, something Aidan emulated.

However, Kirstin chose Tamatea Intermediate because she wanted to be with the top maths teacher, Mr Forward, who has since retired.

Aidan went to Taradale Intermediate and then Taradale High, as Kirstin did, although he left for Napier Boys' High School in the last year to be with good mate Henare to help the school team win the national title.

"He and Paulie grew up together and played cricket for the Hawke's Bay age-group teams," he says, adding the pair went on to to win the national under-20 basketball title in 1998 in Napier as Bay rep players before touring Australia in the New Zealand under-18 team.

Aidan also played age-group soccer and Central Districts age-group cricket after winning the Colgate national age-group sprint title.

With Kirstin leaving Taradale High for Hamilton Girls' High to be part of the New Zealand Basketball Institute at the age of 15, Aidan enjoyed more time honing his skills at home with his father.

"I never coached either of them in top teams," he says, adding Les Glock was Kirstin's mentor.

Nevertheless, he did manage to coach both of them in athletics.

Kirstin, who is the mother of sons Mitchell, 8, and Maz, 5, played for the national under-20 team at the age of 14 and made the senior women's Olympic-qualifying tournament when she was 16.

"That's why she was the most-capped player and captained New Zealand [as well at the Sydney Olympics in 2000]," Craig says of Kirstin who then went on to become assistant Tall Ferns coach at the Athens Olympics in 2004.

Craig is no stranger to managing a side either, having managed the national under-20 men's team for several years.

And he admits he has been relishing coming together with his children in the Hawks culture under Henare's regime.

"It's a great thrill for all of us to be with the Hawks at the same time."

Craig grins when asked if all the travelling and time had any impact on their lives.

"I think we'd be bloody rich if we hadn't spent so much money on the kids.

"We're not rich in money terms but in playing terms we can't quantify what we've achieved."

Henare has known the family since he started playing basketball at the age of 10, with Craig coaching him and watching Kirstin play.

"What they have done is not just for basketball but what they have done as a family," says the 2010-11 New Zealand Breakers title-winning captain, before adding he can't say enough about them.