Four young New Zealand players have been selected to participate in the 10th Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Asia camp hosted by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). The camp will be held in Greater Noida, India from 30 May to 2 June, 2018 and will assemble the top players from across the Asian continent. The players selected are:
· Samuel Jenkins – Canterbury / St Andrew’s College
· Taine Murray – North Harbour / Rosmini College
· Ezekiel Stallworth – Wellington / Scots College
· Mac Stodart – Southland / James Hargest College/St Andrew’s College
Basketball without Borders Asia is an elite basketball skills camp that draws together the top players aged 17 and under from throughout the Asia-Pacific region to learn directly from NBA and FIBA players, legends and coaches, to compete against the best young players from the region. New Zealand players were individually selected by FIBA and the NBA based on their outstanding basketball skills and leadership abilities. Basketball without Borders Asia 2018 will be a unique opportunity for each player to improve his basketball talents and get to know other basketball players of the same age from the region.
Coaches attending will include Corey Brewer (Oklahoma City Thunder; U.S.), Caris LeVert (Brooklyn Nets; U.S.), Kelly Olynyk (Miami Heat; Canada; BWB Americas 2009), Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks; Canada), two-time WNBA Champion Ruth Riley, and former WNBA player Ebony Hoffman.
Players and coaches will lead the campers through a variety of activities on and off the court, including movement efficiency, positional skill development, shooting and skills competitions, 5-on-5 games, and daily life skills seminars focusing on health, leadership and communication. One boy and one girl will be named BWB Asia 2018 MVPs at the conclusion of the four-day camp.
Basketball New Zealand High Performance General Manager Leonard King believes the international exposure the four players will experience will be hugely beneficial for their future development.
“The 2018 Basketball Without Borders Asia camp will be an amazing experience for these young talented players, as they will have an opportunity to train alongside some of Asia’s best Junior players.
“Basketball New Zealand would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the players selected to attend the BWB Asia camp, this is a fitting reward for the hard work they have invested in their game.
“It will be an experience of a lifetime, learning from some of the best minds in the game, being exposed to different styles of play and coaching techniques, and competing against some of the best juniors in the world,” King added.
Taine Murray, probably echoing the sentiments of all four players, agreed that this is a major step in his basketball goals.
"I'm really excited to be selected for Basketball Without Borders. It will be an honour to represent New Zealand at such a prestigious camp.
“I'm looking forward to travelling to India and sharing the experience with the other three New Zealand players in my age group. Competing and training with players from different countries and learning from coaches from all around the world is an incredible opportunity.
“I want to thank my coaches and people who have supported me throughout my development to date. I also would like to acknowledge BBNZ and North Harbour Basketball for their support," said Murray.
Jenkins, Murray and Stodart were all members of the New Zealand Under 16 Boys team, coached by Zico Coronel, that finished fourth at the Australian State Championship in Perth last year.
Coronel is delighted with the progress the players have made in the last twelve months.
“All three are great young men and deserving of any opportunity that comes their way, they will be excellent ambassadors for New Zealand at the camp. As a coach I am proud to have worked alongside them.”
New Zealand players to have attended the Basketball Without Borders Asia camp before include Sam Waardenburg, Quinn Clinton, and Callum McRae.
A strong performance at the Asia Camp can lead to selection to the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp as happened for Clinton and Waardenburg last year.
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