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NBL1 North

Sam Gruggen signs up for Cairns Dolphins

cairnsbasketball.com

7 days ago

2 mins read

CQUniversity Cairns Taipans assistant Sam Gruggen will be spending his off-season in the Far North, after accepting the Head Coach role of the Kenfrost Homes Cairns Dolphins. Gruggen will take over coaching duties from Cairns Basketball stalwart Myra Donkin, who has elected to focus on playing for the side this season.  
 
Donkin has been the Head Coach over the past two years, but team injuries saw her suit up each time, sometimes playing for the full 40 minutes. She said that while coaching is in her future, she wants to give it all to the team while she still can:
 
“I’ve been involved with the Dolphins for over 10 years and it’s important for me to see the team grow and develop," she said. 
 
“Right now, I know I’m best on the court and can provide leadership to the playing group on and off the floor, while Gruggs takes care of the coaching. He will take us to another level. We need to continually improve, and this is a step in that direction.” 
 
Gruggen has previously served as the Head Coach of High Performance for Basketball NSW, South State Performance Manager for Basketball Queensland and South Development Officer for Basketball Tasmania. 
 
In the NBL, Gruggen has been part of the coaching ranks for Cairns, Sydney and Townsville. Last off-season, he was also part of the coaching staff for the U17 Australian Crocs at the 2022 FIBA World Cup. 
 
This NBL off-season, Gruggen said he was looking forward to remaining in Cairns and getting more involved with CBI: 
 
“I’m really pleased to be able to take on this role - strengthening the women’s program is a priority for all of us and I’m really excited about having the opportunity to be part of that.
 
“We’ve all seen what Cayla George has achieved – she was in a Dolphins uniform just nine months ago and now we’ll see her in the WNBA again.

"It’s time to really start paying attention to the women’s basketball talent that can be cultivated here in Cairns and ensure that this trajectory continues, because we want a WNBL franchise here in the near future.”  
 
The Kenfrost Homes Cairns Dolphins will begin their season next Sunday 26 March in Townsville. The first home game at the Fishtank (Early Settler Stadium) will be Friday 14 April, hosting the Brisbane Capitals.

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