The Aon New Zealand Men’s team has been named ahead of the FIBA Under 17 World Cup, to be played in Rasario and Santa Fe, Argentina from 30 June.
The squad shows four changes from the team that finished third at the FIBA Asia Championship in China last month to clinch a spot at the World Cup. Into the line-up comes Auckland centre Anzac Rissetto, Wellington guard Ezrah Vaiagfa and the Canterbury duo of Sam Jenkins and Mac Stoddard.
Head Coach Dave Bublitz is delighted to have finalised the team after the recent selection camp in Rotorua, attended by 20 athletes.
“We added some new concepts that all the players had to deal with, therefore giving the new players coming into camp an equal opportunity. I wanted to make the process as fair possible.
“The selection of the final squad wasn’t easy, but eventually we settled on the four additions.
“Tall Blacks Head Coach Paul Henare and a couple of other coaches with experience attending major tournaments recommended we take three point guards to Argentina. With that in mind, we selected Ezrah to compliment Tom Cowie and Marvin Williams-Dunn in that position.
“Sam Jenkins shot the ball really well and also picked up the new concepts quickly. Both Anzac Rissetto and Mac Stoddard give us some added size. Mac could play as a stretch four or perhaps even a stretch five.
“The team is the first Under 17 men’s group to attend a World Cup, so it is a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved to play against the other best players in the world.
“It’s also exciting on a personal note to test yourself against the best teams and coaches in the world at this age group. I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Bublitz added.
Bublitz and the team will assemble in just over a month’s time on 22 June. They will then head to Buenos Aires for three warm up games.
The tournament will open on 30 June with New Zealand scheduled to play the opening game of the tournament on that day against Egypt in Rosario. New Zealand is drawn in Group C, and will also play Canada and Montenegro in pool play.
Asian champions Australia are in Group A with Puerto Rico, Turkey and Dominican Republic. Defending champions USA headline Group B alongside China, Mali and Serbia. Group D contains hosts Argentina plus Croatia, France and the Philippines.
New Zealand U17 Team:
Shalom Broughton Tauranga Basketball
Tom Cowie North Harbour Basketball / Southland prior to 2018
Mitchell Dance North Harbour basketball
Haven Dixon Wellington Basketball
Sam Jenkins Canterbury Basketball
Kainoa Lepou Auckland Basketball Services ltd
Jake McKinley Manawatu Basketball
Harry Payne West Waitakere Basketball
Anzac Rissetto Auckland Basketball services ltd
Mac Stoddard Canterbury Basketball / Southland prior to 2018
Ezrah Vaiagfa Wellington Basketball
Marvin Williams-Dunn Auckland Basketball Services ltd
Head Coach: David Bublitz
Assistant Coach: Douglas Courtney
Assistant Coach: Aaron Young
Physiotherapist: Todd Wolff
Manager: Delwyn Whale
In his last three years at James Hargest College, Tom Cowie didn’t lose a single match in the local premier basketball competition and debuted for the Southland Sharks in the NBL. The Sharks are the last side to have beaten twice reigning champions the Wellington Saints.
Cowie is at Westlake Boys’ High School in 2018. Why has Cowie switched from Invercargill to Auckland?
“Kevin Braswell moved to Invercargill in 2014 and has been a real good mentor. Kevin helped me get a place in the Breakers Academy which opens up pathways for me that don’t exist in Invercargill,” Cowie responds.
“I have moved for sporting and academic reasons. I wanted a greater challenge and have enjoyed everything about Auckland so far,” he continued.
Interestingly Breakers coach Paul Henare was the Sharks mentor when they last won the NBL in 2015.
Westlake last won the National Secondary Schools title in 2013, but with Cowie on the roster they have a player of obvious pedigree.
Cowie was a starting point guard for the New Zealand Under-17’s who recently qualified for the World Championships for the first time by finishing third at the FIBA Asian Championships in China.
Cowie averaged 10.7 points and 2.8 assists a game, but saved his best performance for the Iran match which New Zealand had to win to make it to Argentina in June. Cowie piled on 17 points and five assists in a 73-69 win.
“We were the underdogs in the Iran game, but everybody played their roll well,” Cowie acclaims.
How does Cowie see his role?
“My job is to run a team. I need to organise the offense with smart plays. I also like to be aggressive and play my part making stops,” Cowie asserts.
The confidence to be an assertive leader will be vital for Westlake who won their opening match in the Auckland Premiership 69-51 against St Peter’s College last Friday, but face stern assignments in the next fortnight against 2017 round-robin winners Auckland Grammar School and National championships Rosmini College. Rosmini beat Rangitoto College, last year’s National runners up, 110-59 less than a week ago.
“The Auckland competition is a massive step up, but I’m really enjoying the challenge of pushing myself and think we have the team to be successful,” Cowie says.
Josh Koiman was Westlake’s top scorer against St Peter’s with 16 points.
The FIBA Under-17 World Championships run from June 30 to July 8 meaning Cowie will miss a portion of the Auckland Premiership. Cowie is confident Westlake has the depth to coupe in his absence.
“One of the reasons I come to Auckland was to test myself against better players. It’s good to be pushed all the time,” Cowie explains.
The USA have won all four Under-17 World Championships and has never lost in 30 matches at the tournament which features 16 teams. New Zealand is grouped with Canada, Egypt and Serbia and Montenegro who all finished second in their respective qualifying tournaments.
Interestingly Bradley Beal, an NBA All-Star with the Washington Wizards, was tournament MVP at the maiden tourney in 2010.
Basketball is underway around the country as winter sports kick into gear. The 2017 National finalists Rosmini College and Rangitoto College have already played once and the result was significant. Here are some individuals to watch from around the nation.
Jake McKinlay, Callum McRae and Oscar Oswald (all Palmerston North Boys’ High School) quickly graduating to starters in the Manawatu Jets is proof of Palmerston North’s strength in recent seasons. McKinlay is another lad from Palmerston North BHS on the Jets roster. A member of the NZ U17’s squad, McKinlay is a rangy and skilful presence who will be guarded closely.
Mitchell Dance (Rosmini College) - Dance wasn’t even supposed to go to the Nationals last year after injuring his ankle in Rosmini’s Zone I success. However the New Zealand U17 guard is made of tough stuff and showed his exceptional quality by winning National MVP as Rosmini won the title for the first time since 2011. Dance top scored for his team in the final collecting 26 points and 10 rebounds. Dance toured China with the NZ Under-17’s recently helping New Zealand gain a place at the World Championships. Dance well be will supported by his New Zealand Under-17 teammate Kruz Perrott-Hunt who is quick across the floor and boasts superior passing skills. On Friday night in Rosmini’s first meeting against National runners-up Rangitoto College, Perrott-Hunt scored 31 points.
Ethan Mandeno (Rangitoto College) -Rangitoto had just one survivor from the 2017 Grand Final when they played their opponent in that fixture against Rosmini College for the first time on Friday night. Rosmini scored a commanding 110-59 victory, but loan survivor Mandeno did manage 25 points and is shaping as a key figure for a rebuilding Rangitoto. Mandeno will soon be rejoined by New Zealand U17 representative Logan McIntosh who was a Nationals tournament team selection last year. Rangitoto have been to the last three National finals, winning twice and it’s only May.
Ezrah Vaigafa (Rongotai College) - Vaigafa played a starring role for the Wellington U15’s in their national championship win last year. After coming tenth in 2016, Wellington won the tourney last with Vaigafa scoring 38 points, and claiming nine rebounds and six assists in the final. Vaigafa helped Rongotai reach the Zone III final, their best result in many years. Vaigafa is aligned with the Saints and is a vital leader in the Rongotai roster.
Tom Cowie (Westlake Boys’ High School) - The point guard has been selected to be a part of the Breakers Academy and moved from Southland Boys’ High School at the start of the year. Cowie a New Zealand U17 representative had already had an NBL game for the Southland Sharks.
Will de Geest (Christ’s College) - Christ’s College won the Canterbury title for the first time in many years in 2017 and then advanced to the semi-finals of Nationals and lost to eventual champions Rosmini College in extra time. Will de Geest, a Canterbury age group rep standard talent, returns hoping to match the feats of his executional brother Max de Geest who was named in the National Secondary Schools tournament team and was awarded Canterbury Rams Junior Male Player of the Year. Max has signed for a scholarship to Long Beach State University in California, but has deferred entry until 2019.
New Zealand U15 squads selected
The 2018 New Zealand Under 15 boys and girls national basketball squads have been selected after a Basketball New Zealand age-group selection camp in April.
Both Under 15 teams will represent New Zealand at the 2018 FIBA Oceania Championships in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, in December
See the squad lists here: https://www.collegesportmedia.co.nz/basketball/nz-u15-boys-and-girls-basketball-squads-selected
The 2018 New Zealand Under 15 boys and girls national basketball squads have been selected after a Basketball New Zealand age-group selection camp in April.
Both Under 15 teams will represent New Zealand at the 2018 FIBA Oceania Championships in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, in December.
Basketball New Zealand’s High Performance Manager, Leonard King, says the players named have earned their spots after successfully showing they have emerging skill and talent to the national coaches.
“I trust that all of the athletes are excited to be formally announced in the Aon Under 15 New Zealand squad. This is the next step in the pathway to representing New Zealand.
“All squad members will be observed and evaluated at the 2018 Under 17 and Under 15 National Championships, and a final team selection will happen at the conclusion of those championships,” said King.
For those players that were not selected, King said they should hold onto their belief in making future squads.
“This is still a very young age group, and many players need time to grow and develop. My message to those players is keep having fun and working on those fundamental skills, because time can provide wonderful opportunities for young players. Never lose heart, work hard and you may be making these lists in age-group teams to come. Many other players have done just that before you
Aon New Zealand Under 15 Girls
· Reese Anderson, Waikato Basketball Council
· Makenzee Boucher, North Harbour Basketball
· Florence Dallow, North Harbour Basketball
· Jyordanna Davey, Hutt Valley Basketball
· Taiana Day, Tauranga City Basketball
· Zaaliyah Kailahi-Fulu, North Harbour Basketball
· Odessa Lawson, Waitakere West Auckland Basketball Inc
· Kataleena Leslie, Waitakere West Auckland Basketball Inc
· Riana Matiseni, Waitakere West Auckland Basketball Inc
· Hineaupounamu (Missy) Nuku, Tauranga City Basketball
· Alana Paewai, Waikato Basketball Council
· Janaya Preece, Basketball Hawkes Bay
· Emma Pugh, Hibiscus Coast Basketball
· Annabelle Ring, Basketball Otago
· Dekoda Roberts, Rotorua Basketball Association
· Anita Samasoni, Basketball Otago
· Melika Samia, Basketball Hawkes Bay
· Breeje Schuler, Waikato Basketball Council
· Hope Stanshall, Palmerston North Basketball
· Sera Taei, Basketball Auckland
· Vitolia Tuilave, Tauranga City Basketball
· Jayze'lee Waihi, Waikato Basketball Association
· Gemma Walsh, New Plymouth Basketball
· Olivia Williams, San Francisco USA
· Sam Woolford, Hibiscus Coast Basketball
· Management – Head Coach: Natalie Visger. Assistant Coaches: Justine Reed, Kaea Samson, Frances Tilly (not travelling to PNG) and Bronwen Davidson (not travelling to PNG). Manager: Glenda Kaan.
Aon New Zealand Under 15 Boys
· Max Abbot, Wellington
· Josh Book, Nelson
· Kazlo Evans Jr, Waikato
· Sam Gallagher, Canterbury
· Ben Gold, Wellington
· Junior James De Young, Thames Valley
· Toby Kendon, Hawke's Bay
· Levic Kerr, Auckland
· Tanae Lavery, Canterbury
· Mosiah MacDonald, Manawatu
· Jay Marsh, Nelson
· Akiva McBirney-Griffin, Waikato
· Ezekiel Priest, Harbour
· Tawhiao Puriri, Harbour
· Zach Riley, Harbour
· Dontae Russo-Nance, Waitakere
· Greg Rodger, Canterbury
· Riley Sa, Harbour
· Harrison Smith, Counties
· Will Stodart, Southland
· Sataan Tawera, Auckland
· Jett Thompson, Harbour
· Reegan Trego, Gold Coast
· Wairehu Waata, Hawke's Bay
· Paora Winitana, Harbour
· Tautoko Wynyard, Waitakere
· Management – Head Coach: TBA. Assistant Coach (and Acting Head Coach): Morgan Maskell. Assistant Coach: Brent Matehaere. Manager: TBA
Basketball is tipping off around the country as winter sports kick into gear. Girls basketball looks set to be dominated by St Peter’s Cambridge, who boast Charlisse Leger-Walker already an accomplished Tall Fern, and Queen Margaret College who have acquired three players from capital rivals St Mary’s College. Here are five names to closely monitor.
Charlisse Leger-Walker (St Peter’s Cambridge) - Scored 48 of her side’s 62 points in the National final which St Peter’s narrowly lost to St Mary’s College, Wellington having won the previous two years. Leger-Walker is only in Year 12, but is already a household name in New Zealand basketball having last year became the youngest Tall Fern ever and in April helping New Zealand win a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games. Leger-Walker top scored with 18 points in the third place playoff. Back from the Gold Coast, Leger-Walker recently top-scored with 22 points in the Waikato Wizards 56-50 win over the Auckland Dream in the women’s National competition.
Ella Bradley (St Peter’s Cambridge) -The most accomplished teammate of Charlisse Leger-Walker, Bradley has been a New Zealand U17 representative and twice National Secondary Schools champion, earning tournament team selection in 2017. A great ball handler and sharp shot, Bradley puts Leger-Walker in great position to score, but can be extremely dangerous when she captures fire herself.
Helen Matthews (Kaiapoi High School) - Kaiapoi High School isn’t a powerhouse in New Zealand secondary schools basketball, but in Helen Matthews they have a powerhouse player. Matthews plays for the North Canterbury Women's premier side and has represented various South Island outfits and last year made the New Zealand Under-17’s. At the Whelan Trophy in July last year the 16-year-old was described by her coaches as “a beast on the court.”
Sharne Pupuke-Robati (Mount Albert Grammar School) - The New Zealand U17 rep was a key figure in MAGS' drive to the 2016 National final which they lost competitively to St Peter’s Cambridge. A robust defender, swift ball handler and good shoot, MAGS will build their 2018 team around Pupuke-Robati and should be a genuine contender for the title in Auckland.
Grace Hunter (Queen Margaret College) - Hunter’s achievements in 2017 were considerable being named Wellington Girls Basketballer of the Year and earning selection for the New Zealand U18 Women’s Team. Hunter was the captain of St Mary’s national title winning team last year, but has switched to Queen Margaret College with New Zealand age group reps Paris Lokotui and Te Araroa Sopoaga. QMC beat St Mary’s College 71-22 last Friday.
The Aon New Zealand U17 Boys basketballers have placed third at the FIBA Asian Championship in Foshan with a 76-60 win over the Philippines on Sunday.
Next up is the U17 World Cup in Argentina in June.
They qualified for the U17 World Cup by reaching the semi-finals of the tournament and falling to Australia 86-61.
Shalom Broughton top-scored for New Zealand, compiling 14 points with five rebounds and three assists (4-of-7 FGs). Tom Cowie added 12 points, while Mitchell Dance and Kainoa Lepou each scored 10.
New Zealand had a superb tournament defensively, making life difficult in one way or another for all six of their opponents. This was a key to them taking control of the game against the Phillipines in their third placed match.
New Zealand trailed 5-12 early in the match, but nine first quarter points for Mitchell Dance helped give his team an 18-14 lead after 10 minutes.
The Philippines possessed a notable size advantage down low, but New Zealand’s frontcourt muscled up on both ends and effectively nullified the mismatch.
New Zealand led 42-21 at halftime, outscoring the Philippines 24-7 in the second quarter. Their large lead was a testament to some solid 3-point shooting, making 5-of-12 from beyond the arc. Five players each hit 3-pointers for New Zealand in the first half.
The Philippines were held to 31.2 per cent shooting from the field and 30.4 per cent from three by New Zealand. Despite the Philippines’ size, New Zealand turned in a massive effort on the glass, grabbing a 48-37 advantage.
Marvin Williams-Dunn finished with a bang for New Zealand, posting 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Dance contributed 16 points (6-of-16 FG) and seven rebounds in the win, while Jake McKinlay added 10 points. Tom Cowie was productive across the board yet again, recording six points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals.
New Zealand head coach Dave Bublitz was thrilled with the team’s effort in Foshan.
“It was a really good way to finish the tournament. To go to the Asian Championship for the first time and earn a bronze medal is something the boys can be really proud of,” said Bublitz.
“It was great to see all of the boys making a positive contribution when subbed in. It was a solid team performance to finish,” he said.
Bublitz and his staff will assemble in May to determine the squad that will head to Argentina for the FIBA U17 World Cup in June.
“The group will meet in early May where they will have to retrial for their spots,” he said. “It’ll provide extra motivation for them to put work in between now and then, so they can cement their spot in Argentina.”
Leger-Walker impresses for Tall Ferns
Charlisse Leger-Walker of St Peter’s School is the youngest player ever to wear a Tall Ferns singlet but on the on the evidence of her showing in the 80-49 defeat of Jamaica, in Cairns at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday, she is destined for a long international future. The 16 year-old guard led all scorers with 18 points and also added 6 points, 4 assists, a steal and a block.
With three wins over Nigeria, Jamaica and India, the Tall Ferns secured a top two spot in Pool B of the Commonwealth Games Basketball Tournament and a place in the Qualifying Finals that start in Townsville on Tuesday.
The New Zealand Olympic Committee along with Basketball New Zealand has named the women’s basketball team for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
The naming concludes selections for the Games with the basketballers taking the final team number to 251 athletes, making it the largest ever New Zealand Commonwealth Games team.
New Zealand Tall Ferns Head Coach Guy Molloy has ensured there’s a balanced mix, consisting mostly of tried and trusted experience, but also with a youthful dose.
"After an excellent three-day camp in Dandenong last month, we have picked a team featuring a strong blend of youth and experience for the Commonwealth Games,” said Molloy today.
“Tall Ferns veterans such as Micaela Cocks, Toni Farnworth, and Natalie Purcell will lead admirably, whilst other talented Australian WNBL players Kalani Purcell, Chevannah Paalvast, and Jordan Hunter will provide scoring power and great defense.
“I am particularly excited, however, by the emergence of two very young Tall Ferns in Charlisse Leger-Walker and Zara Jillings. Amazingly Charlisse is only 16 years old, but she plays with the poise of a much older player and is a very clever playmaker. Similarly Zara is only 19 and is a freshman starter for Fordham University, but also really impressed during the Asia Cup campaign in 2017.
“The selected team is small, but fast and skilled, and we hope to play a great brand of basketball during the Games,” Molloy added.
Leger-Walker, a Year 12 student at St Peter’s School Cambridge, is set to become the youngest player to represent the Tall Ferns and the third member of her family to represent New Zealand at senior level following sister Krystal and mother Leanne.
Krystal, a sophmore guard at the University of Northern Colorado, also debuted for the Tall Ferns as a teenager back in 2014. Leanne is of course a two-time Olympian having attended the 1990 and 1994 Olympics with the Tall Ferns.
Needless to say Charlisse wasn’t the only member of her family to be excited about her selection.
“My mum was really excited. She has a bit of a poker face, but beneath that seriousness she was really happy. I told Krystal straight away as she was asking me every day if I was in the team, she is so excited that I am going to the Commonwealth Games.”
Having attended two training camps already, Leger-Walker feels comfortable in the Tall Ferns environment.
“The other girls treat me the same as everyone else and I don’t feel like I should step back. The senior players like Natalie and Micaela, who have a lot of experience in this team, are really good and treat me like any other player.”
Being the youngest member of the team is not an entirely strange scenario for the Kiwi playmaker.
“Since I was about 11 years-old, filling in for my sisters teams, I have played with older players so that’s the way I have been brought up. I think it has also worked well that I have played for the Junior Tall Ferns at a young age so it makes the transition to this team so much easier. Playing up in the age-groups has really benefitted my game skills and my basketball IQ,”
Balancing her school studies and playing international basketball presents a challenge that Leger-Walker is confident she can handle.
“I’m going to miss three weeks of school so it is going to be difficult. This term there are a lot of internals that I will have to catch up on in term two. Last year when I was away with New Zealand U16’s it worked out better, as it was mainly revision work at school. My teachers are really excited for me and we have been working together to ensure I don’t miss out on any credits. I’m really busy, but it’s pretty cool,” she added.
The rest of the squad contains nine of the players that attended the 2017 Asia Cup in Bangalore last July.
The other players not in Bangalore last year are Jordan Hunter and Erin Rooney. Hunter, the former Counties-Manukau guard, returns having missed the whole of the 2017 international campaign after incurring an ACL injury in the opening round of the Women’s Basketball Championship in Auckland last year.
Rooney last played for the national team at the 2016 FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in France and most recently has been playing in the Swiss National League for Troistorrents.
Molloy will have a number of experienced Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) players to call upon including Kalani Purcell who plays for his Melbourne Boomers club side.
Micaela Cocks (Townsville Fire), Toni Farnworth (Perth Lynx) and Chevannah Paalvast (Canberra Capitals) are the other current WNBL players.
Cocks, a three-time WNBL championship winner with Townsville, is the only survivor from the Tall Ferns team that won a silver medal at the 2006 Games in Melbourne – the last time basketball was included in the four-yearly event. Tall Ferns Assistant Coach Jody Cameron was also part of that Commonwealth Games team.
Cocks is also a veteran of the 2008 Beijing Olympics campaign as is another senior member of the squad, Natalie Taylor.
Molloy is excited about the talent at his disposal and is looking forward to building the team and the culture for the Commonwealth Games and beyond.
“The mission is to develop the New Zealand team into one of the top teams in the FIBA Asia qualification zone and we want to make a fast start at the Commonwealth Games also. I want to get off to a great start and we want to hit that tournament full steam.” Molloy added.
The Tall Ferns will head into a pre-Games training camp before opening their Commonwealth Games campaign with a game against Malaysia on 5 April in Cairns.
New Zealand Tall Ferns Team:
Mitchell Dance was MVP in the National Secondary Schools basketball final last year. The power forward top scored for his triumphant Rosmini College team. What was the key moment in the tight decider against Rangitoto College?
“I honestly think it was the warm up. It was 2-2 against Rangitoto going into that match and we knew if we wanted to win we had to execute our plays. The boys were really focussed and I knew from that point on we were in good shape,” Dance reflects.
The New Zealand U17 basketball team departs for China this week to take part in the FIBA U16 Asian Championships in April.
The thirteen-team tournament is being held in Foshan and doubles as a qualifying tournament for the FIBA World Championships in Argentina later in the year.
New Zealand is grouped in Pool A along with China and defending champions Hong Kong. To make the World Championships the Kiwis require a top four finish. Dance has been selected and is quick to emphasize New Zealand will have to show a similar focus to Rosmini to accomplish their goal of a World Championship berth.
“We're in a tough group and are working hard. I think we've got a talented team. Some of the players to watch include Marvin Williams-Dunn my teammate from Rosmini, Tom Cowie and Jaylin To’o from Wellington,” Dance says.
Only one of the 12 players selected are from the South Island with half the roster playing in the Auckland Premiership that contributed the leading three schools at Nationals last year. The Kiwis head coach is Dave Bublitz from New Plymouth.
“I've worked with Dave before at the U16 state champs in Melbourne last year. He is a tough guy, a real hard competitor who knows the game and sets high expectations,” Dance acclaims.
Expectations are high at Rosmini College for another prosperous 2018 season. The team has been training since January an approach which is bore fruit last year.
“We're not the biggest team so we know we have to be able to move the ball quickly and be fitter than everyone else. If we can play a high speed, high skill game we'll be competitive,” Dance explains.
“We're still pretty young. We have five year 13’s back and have picked up Kainoa Lepou, a New Zealand teammate from Hamilton Boys,’ and Tom Seuren from St Paul’s Collegiate. Kruz Perrott-Hunt, Taine Murray and Jayden Boucher are all good players,” Dance continued.
Rosmini’s biggest loss is that of William Heather. The Auckland Premiership starts in term two after the Easter holidays.
The Aon New Zealand Under 17 Boys team has been named ahead of the upcoming FIBA U16 Asian Championship.
The thirteen-team tournament, which runs from April 2-8, is being held in Foshan, China. The championship doubles as Asia’s qualifying tournament for the 2018 FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup to be held in Argentina later this year.
New Zealand has been drawn in Pool A along with China and Hong Kong, with the top placed team advancing directly to the quarter-finals. If placed second New Zealand will face the third placed team in Pool B for a spot in the last eight.
Pool B is made up of Australia, Philippines and Malaysia. Pool C comprises of Iran, Chinese Taipei and Macau with defending champions Korea, Japan, Lebanon and India in Pool D.
New Zealand Head Coach Dave Bublitz is looking forward to the tournament with preparation a long time in the making as the championship was originally scheduled for October 2017.
“We held our first camp back in December 2016 so we have had a long time preparing for this event.
“The majority of the team we have selected came on a tour of the Philippines in July last year. We used that tour to gain experience playing against Asian style basketball, which is very guard orientated and quite different to the style we are accustomed to in New Zealand.
“We have had a total of six camps as a build up to the Asia qualifier, the last being in Rotorua in December. That camp was very beneficial and I know when the team comes together again later this month they will bond very quickly.”
Bublitz stated that the goal for the coaching staff and players was very simple.
“We want to make the quarter finals then from there we are one win away from a place at the FIBA U17 World Cup.”
Bublitz expects the main competition to come from traditional foes.
“I imagine Australia will start favourites and Asian powerhouse China are always formidable. I’ve also heard that Japan and Korea operate with full-time coaches so we can expect those two teams to be strong.”
The team will gather for a couple of days training in Auckland on 26 March and will also play a couple of warm-up games in China before the tournament gets underway on 2 April.
Aon New Zealand Under 17 Boys team:
Head Coach: David Bublitz
Assistant Coach: Doug Courtney
Assistant Coach: Aaron Young
Manager: Delwyn Whale
Team Doctor/Physio: Todd Wolfe
More information on the event can be found at the FIBA website here: http://www.fiba.basketball/asia/u16/2017/news/draw-results-in-for-fiba-u16-asian-championship
Year 12 St Peter’s School standout Charlisse Leger-Walker joins 21 other female basketballers, including her older sister Kyrstal, this weekend in Melbourne in camp with the Tall Ferns.
From this camp, new Tall Ferns coach Guy Molloy will select his team of 12 players for the April Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and Cairns.
This will be 16-year-old guard Leger-Walker’s second Tall Ferns training camp after trialling for the team last year.
In October she captained the New Zealand Women’s U17 team to the semi-finals of the FIBA Asian Championship and to qualification for this July's 2018 FIBA U17 Women’s Basketball World Cup in Belarus.
Leger-Walker is one of three uncapped players named, including England based forward Tea Charlton and former New Plymouth Girls’ High player Kayla Manuirirangi, now a sophmore at Tulane University, USA.
Leger-Walker was named MVP of the National Secondary Schools tourney in October as well as the under-19 and 23 Nationals MVP last year. Charlisse is a regular starter in the Waikato Wizards in the National Women’s competition
The team selected for the Commonwealth Games taking place in Cairns and on the Gold Coast will be named in early March. The Tall Ferns open their Commonwealth Games campaign with a game against Malaysia on April 5th in Cairns.
Players named in the extended training squad:
Georgia Agnew (Harbour Heat, NZ)
Stella Beck (St Mary’s College, California, USA)
Jacinta Beckley (Seattle University, USA)
Brooke Blair (Idaho State University, USA)
Jess Bygate (Sandringham Sabres, Australia)
Tea Charlton (Nottingham Wildcats, England
Micaela Cocks (Townsville Fire, Australia)
Penina Davidson (University of California Berkeley, USA)
Toni Farnworth (Perth Lynx, Australia)
Deena Franklin (Harbour Heat, NZ)
Jordan Hunter (Sturt Sabres, Australia)
Zara Jillings (Fordham University, USA)
Charlisse Leger-Walker (Waikato Wizards/St Peter’s School, Cambridge)
Krystal Leger-Walker (University of Northern Colorado, USA)
Kayla Manuirirangi (Tulane University, USA)
Katelin Noyer (Fresno State University, USA)
Rebecca Ott (Melbourne Boomers, Australia)
Chevannah Paalvast (Canberra Capitals, Australia)
Kalani Purcell (Melbourne Boomers, Australia)
Erin Rooney (Troistorrents, Switzerland)
Josie Stockill (Sunbury Jets, Australia)
Natalie Taylor (Brisbane Spartans, Australia)
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