Anita Hannen (nee Kirby), Trailblazer of NZ Women’s Basketball, Passes Away

By | September 11, 2023



Death – Obituary News : Anita Hannen (nee Kirby), a pioneer of New Zealand women’s basketball, has passed away. She represented New Zealand from 1950-61 and was part of the team that toured Australia in 1958. The news was announced by Tall Ferns, expressing their sadness at her loss.


Anita Hannen (nee Kirby), one of the true pioneers of women’s basketball in New Zealand, has tragically passed away last week. The news of her death has deeply saddened the basketball community and the nation as a whole.

Anita’s legacy in the world of basketball is unparalleled. Her career as a member of the Tall Ferns spanned from 1950 to 1961, during which she represented New Zealand with immense pride and dedication. She was an integral part of the New Zealand women’s team that toured Australia in 1958, leaving a lasting impact on the sport.

Born with a natural talent for the game, Anita’s skills on the court were unmatched. She was known for her exceptional shooting abilities and remarkable agility, making her a force to be reckoned with in every game she played. Her unwavering determination and leadership qualities made her a role model for aspiring women basketball players throughout the country.

Beyond her athletic achievements, Anita was admired for her humility and kindness. She was known for her willingness to mentor younger players and her dedication to promoting the growth of women’s basketball in New Zealand. Her passion for the sport was evident in every aspect of her life.

Anita’s contributions to women’s basketball will never be forgotten. She paved the way for future generations of players, breaking barriers and opening doors for women in a male-dominated sport. Her legacy will continue to inspire and empower young athletes to pursue their dreams.

The loss of Anita Hannen is a tremendous blow to the New Zealand basketball community. Her absence will be deeply felt, but her impact and achievements will forever be remembered. Our thoughts and condolences go out to her family, friends, and the entire basketball community during this difficult time..