Esra McGoldrick Back With the Pouākai For Second Season

With a thrilling Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa season on the horizon, embedded with innovative changes, we are overjoyed to welcome back Esra McGoldrick to the Mainland Pouākai for 2024!

A finalist for the 2023 Most Improved Player award, McGoldrick was undoubtedly impressive in her inaugural Pouākai season, upping her game averages to 14.3 points and 8.2 rebounds. She also led Tauihi in three-point percentage at 51%, and was third in the competition for blocks per game at 1.6. 

“We’re excited to have Esra returning, she was a priority signing for our program,” said Head Coach Paul Flynn. “Esra is an integral piece in our roster construction, and we’re excited to add further key players around her to present a Pouakai team that the entire region can get behind and support this season.” 

“Esra is a multidimensional player that can impact on both sides of the basketball. She is long, versatile and a genuine international calibre athlete as we saw for the Tall Ferns in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament earlier this year,” Flynn added. “I’m excited to get on the ground and start working with Esra in preparation for a strong Tauihi season with the Pouakai.”

Following her breakout Tauihi campaign, McGoldrick kept herself busy in the kiwi offseason, signing with the Bendigo Spirit and making her Australian WNBL debut. McGoldrick appeared in fourteen games for the Spirit, recording season-highs of six points, six rebounds and two blocks against the Southside Flyers.

“I’m excited to be back playing again for my hometown,” said McGoldrick. “There is no other feeling than playing in front of family and friends in such a high calibre league.”

“Being back playing for Pouākai gives me a sense of comfort and familiarity that brings joy and relaxation. I am surrounded by the things I love and doing what I enjoy most. Tauihi has made some exciting new changes that I cannot wait to be a part of. I’m also excited to be coached by Paul Flynn, it will be a privilege to play for someone with his experience and expertise.”

Tall Ferns duties also came a-calling during the offseason, seeing McGoldrick travel to Xi’an, China for the Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament. McGoldrick was pivotal for New Zealand in their three-game stretch, leading the team in scoring, rebounding, and rejections. 

“Signing Esra was the priority for us as a club,” stated Pouākai General Manager Caleb Harrison. “Esra is a fantastic ambassador for basketball throughout our region.”

“Her game has seen fantastic growth the past sixteen months, being selected for the Tall Ferns for both Asia Cup and Olympic Qualifiers as well as being a fully contracted player for the Bendigo Spirit in the WNBL,” Harrison further said. “We are looking forward to seeing Esra’s partnership with our head coach Paul Flynn and having Esra throughout the community delivering in-school coaching sessions promoting basketball.”

2024 Mainland Pouākai season memberships are available now! Catch kiwi stars like Esra McGoldrick in the most inspiring season of Tauihi basketball yet by securing your seat to every single Pouākai home game. 

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