NBA trainer joins Wellington Blaze

NBA trainer and current Tall Ferns strength and conditioning coach Gavin Cross has signed on with the Wellington Blaze for the 2019-20 season.

Cross joins the Blaze having worked with various elite sports teams in Wellington and across New Zealand, including the Wellington Saints, Wellington football, Wellington softball and the New Zealand handball team.

Alongside his work in New Zealand, Cross has provided the physiotherapy, rehab and strength programmes for kiwi NBA superstar Steven Adams over the past seven years.

Cross regularly spends time with Oklahoma City Thunder staff, is trusted to provide treatment to Thunder players in the off-season and is the only approved provider for an NBA franchise in New Zealand.

Blaze performance manager Robbie Kerr said Cross’s appointment was another indicator of the growth of the women’s game.

“The standard of women’s cricket is improving at a rapid rate both internationally and domestically,” he said.

“The focus and importance on strength and conditioning has never been higher so the Blaze players are extremely lucky to have the opportunity to work with a trainer and person of Gavin’s quality.”

Cross said he was looking forward to working with some of the best women’s players in the game.

“I’m super excited to be working with the Wellington Blaze. In recent weeks I have had the privilege of working with squad members Thamsyn Newton and Melie Kerr.

“I love their work ethic, desire to improve and learn and passion for the Blaze. Cricket Wellington have been great to deal with so signing on was an easy decision for me.”

The Blaze will name their initial squad for the 2019-20 season next month.