The Hawke's Bay franchise has signed co-skipper Everard Bartlett for another men's National Basketball League season.
Hastings-born Bartlett not surprisingly returns to the Taylor Corporation Hawks under the tenure of new coach Zico Coronel.
"He's a very effective player," says Coronel of the 31-year-old Tall Black guard, who will add experience on the foundation of 40-plus per cent three-point shooting.
The former Irongate School pupil, who attended Church College in Hamilton before jetting off to Utah's Wasatch Academy in the United States, left the region several years ago to play for other franchises around the country and in the ANBL but had returned last season as a "veteran" to give back something to the code and franchise in his hometown.
Coronel says Bartlett has recently established a company, EB Basketball Skills Development, to reflect that commitment to the community.
"He's also had a baby so it's all happening for Everard right now," says the former Wellington Saints assistant coach.
Bartlett's wife, Lillian, gave birth to a baby boy on September 19 but they have yet to name him.
The couple have a son, 8-year-old Haizley.
An ex-slam dunk champion, Bartlett, who had stints with the Adelaide 36ers and the Perth Wildcats and was an NZ Breakers development player, alternated captaincy with another Tall Black, point guard Jarrod Kenny, last year.
It was a season that saw the Hawks miss the NBL playoffs after regular coach Kirstin Daly-Taylor resigned midway and former player and board member Benny Hill assumed the mantle of interim coach.
Coronel says Bartlett is the first name released but he is in the middle of signing other players to be announced in the next few weeks.
"We've made good progress with initial approaches."