Donna Wilkins

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Donna Wilkins
Medal record
Representing  New Zealand
Women’s netball

Donna Wilkins.png

Commonwealth Games
Silver medal – second place 1998 Kuala Lumpur Netball
Silver medal – second place 2002 Manchester Netball
Women's basketball
Commonwealth Games
Silver medal – second place 2006 Melbourne Basketball

Donna Wilkins (née Loffhagen) (born 29 April 1978 in Christchurch, New Zealand) is a New Zealand representative in netball and basketball. She became married to Southland farmer Mike Wilkins on 17 March 2007.[1] Wilkins returned to the Southern Steel for the 2012 season, after a short stint with the Canterbury Tactix in 2011.

Netball[edit]

Wilkins has represented the New Zealand Silver Ferns 56 times, making her 50th cap against Barbados in Auckland, New Zealand. The 1.85 cm, Goal Attack and Goal Shoot, started her career for Canterbury in the National Championships in 1994 as a cool sixteen-year-old. She carried on playing for the province until called into the Silver Ferns in 1996. After four years playing top netball in Canterbury, Donna Wilkins signed with the Southland netball team for the 1997 season along with fellow Silver Ferns captain Bernice Mene. She shot the southerners into fourth place overall in the championships, a much improved performance of 10th the year before.

After Netball New Zealand announced plans for a new semi-professional franchise competition for 1998 season to replace the old provincial champs, the new Invercargill based franchise the Southern Sting retained Wilkins services along with Bernice Mene for the season. Wilkins continued to play in the South for the Southern Sting till 2006, when she was called into the Suns basketball team in the American WNBA basketball competition. She returned for the Stings semi final and final game. She continued playing for the Sting in 2007 when they won the franchise competition National Bank Cup.

The Sting won seven out of the ten National Bank Cup titles, being named as one of the worlds best sporting teams. Other big names to play for the franchise include: Bernice Mene, Tania Dalton, Megan Hutton, Belinda Colling, Leana de Bruin, Liana Leota, Adine Wilson, Lesley Rumball, Naomi Siddall, Wendy Frew, Erika Burgess, Daneka Wipiiti and Natalie Avellino.

In 2008 a new trans-Tasman semi-professional league was launched, the ANZ Championship. Wilkins did not play in the first season due to pregnancy, but continued with the Southern Steel as an assistant coach. She returned to the playing lineup for the 2009 season,[2] where the Steel improved on their 2008 standing to reach the finals stage; the Steel were eventually defeated by the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the semi-finals. Later that month, Wilkins announced that she would not be returning to the Steel in 2010.[3] Wilkins turned out for the Canterbury Tactix in 2011, and is set to return to the Steel for 2012. As a member of the New Zealand national netball team, Loffhagen won two Commonwealth Games silver medals, at Kuala Lumpur in 1998 and Manchester in 2002.

Basketball[edit]

Wilkins formerly played for Canterbury in the NZ Women's Basketball League. In Australia, she played two seasons with the Canberra Capitals in the WNBL. In 2006, she signed for the Connecticut Suns in the US WNBA.

As of 2006, Wilkins had 95 caps for New Zealand national team,[4] including the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, and the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne (as captain).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Burdon, Nathan (2007-03-19). "Donna Loffhagen, Mike Wilkins pronounced husband and wife". Southland Times (on Netball Southland website). Retrieved 2008-05-13. [dead link]
  2. ^ Burdon, Nathan (2006-11-14). "Loffhagen's return to Sting prompts rule change from Netball New Zealand". Southland Times (on Netball Southland website). Retrieved 2008-05-13. [dead link]
  3. ^ Johannsen, Dana (2009-07-21). "Wilkins hangs up Southern Steel bib". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-11-26. 
  4. ^ The Multi Talented Donna Loffhagen - New Zealand Olympic Committee Archived 10 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine.