Wilson named Stars captain for 2021 season
Experienced shooter Maia Wilson has been named captain of the Robinhood Stars for the 2021 ANZ Premiership campaign.
The last remaining foundation player left on the Stars roster, Wilson joined the Stars from the Central Pulse during their inaugural season in 2017 and assumes the captaincy after being part of the leadership group last year.
“I’ve got a lot of love for this franchise and to be the last OG standing along with some of our management is massive,” she said.
“I feel like my job now is to input that culture and foundation we have at the Stars and get everybody else on board. We’ve got a pretty cruisy group of women and it’s going to be great, so hopefully they’re on board that waka and we can get some wins on the board.”
Stars coach Kiri Wills said Wilson had earnt the role as captain.
“Each year we have seen her game grow incrementally. I know that a captain needs to be a consistent performer so they feel confident and good about their contribution to the team on court before they feel they have the right to lead a team of their peers,” Wills said.
“Maia's biggest step forward in 2020 was her ability to perform week in and week out for this team and then take that consistency and apply it against some of the best defenders in the world. She is a great example of what hard work and determination can help you to achieve.”
Still just 23 years old, Wilson will be the youngest captain in the ANZ Premiership. Wilson has become a staple of the Stars’ front court and has owned the shooting circle.
Wilson has made 60 ANZ Premiership appearances in the purple dress and netted 461 of her 513 shots at goal – a success rate of 90 percent. She’s made 17 Test appearances for the Silver Ferns after debuting against Jamaica in 2016.
Wilson grew up in Auckland and understands the value of the Stars’ culture both on and off the court.
She believes after using their first couple of years as building blocks, the Stars now have a solid foundation and an awesome fan base around them.
“Now it’s about making sure we’ve got those finishing touches and making sure people know what we’re about. We’re a massive team on culture, not only on team culture but the culture within our community. We’ve got a diverse community and it’s who we represent so we want to make sure everyone knows who they are and who we are,” Wilson added.
New signings Gina Crampton and Anna Harrison will join Wilson in the Stars leadership group, with midcourter Crampton making the move north from the Southern Steel and defender Harrison coming out of retirement having last played for the Northern Mystics in 2018.
After being beaten grand finalists in 2019, the Stars finished fourth in 2020 and Wilson’s tired of having the underdog tag often attached to the team.
“We’ve got a base now and have some fit people coming in so are focused on skill work and finding those connections with the new players. We’re coming out to try and win this competition and not be the underdogs.”