Former Silver Ferns shooter Tania Dalton is fighting for her life in Auckland Hospital after suffering a ruptured artery.
Dalton, 45, has been unconscious and in critical care after suffering the medical emergency while running at a touch rugby game on Thursday, it has been confirmed.
Her family is at her bedside while the netball community has expressed its shock on social media.
Dalton's husband Duane described the situation as a "nightmare" for he and their three children.
"All I can say is that Tarns is once again showing us what an incredible battler she is and, right now, she is putting up the fight of her life," he told The Herald on Sunday.
Netball New Zealand released a statement from the family confirming Dalton had experienced a ruptured internal carotid artery aneurysm and remained in critical care.
They thanked the public for their wishes but asked for privacy at a difficult time.
Dalton played 37 Tests across an 11-year international career which finished in 2007, playing mostly goal shoot. She was part of the 2003 world championship-winning squad.
Following her retirement, she became well-known as a television commentator.