Once again two young players with strong ties to the SKYCITY Breakers are set to benefit from that association with invites to the Nike All Asia Camp in China.
Breakers Academy players James Moors (Westlake Boys High/North Harbour Basketball) and Thomas Whyte (Auckland Grammar/Auckland Basketball) have been called up to the prestigious annual Nike sponsored camp, joining a host of players from throughout the Asia/Oceania regions to attend.
Breakers Academy Head Coach Mike Fitchett says international exposure for young players is vital, and the club has a great history of providing such opportunities.
“Part of any young player’s development is the chance to experience playing basketball overseas, with all the challenges that this brings from a travel, accommodation, culture and climate perspective.
“It is through our long association with Nike that we are able to nominate two athletes per year to attend this camp, it is one that we have had considerable success with in the past with Reuben (Te Rangi), Isaac (Fotu) and Tai (Wynyard) being named MVP, along with multiple others being named in the All Star 5 at the camp’s conclusion.
“It is a great opportunity for the players to grow and mature on and off court but also to scrimmage and play in front of NCAA College coaches and scouts, playing against the elite players from the Asia Pacific market to get a great gauge on where they are in the pecking order at this stage of their development.”
Further to the Nike All Asia Camp, James will stay on in China to also attend the Nike Team Camp, joining other members of the New Zealand U18 team in that opportunity.
James and Thomas have come through their local association and school programmes, and are in their second year on the Academy roster. Both have eyes on following an increasing number of young New Zealanders into the American College system.
“Our objective at the Breakers Academy is to provide players with the necessary tools to learn on and off court, to mature and develop as young men and basketballers to enable them to take the next steps into either the professional game, or to the USA to pursue scholarship opportunities.
“Not all follow the path into America however, we are equally happy to promote New Zealand tertiary options, while staying in the Breakers and New Zealand development programmes. We have forged close ties in particular with Massey University and can offer a strong pathway for players who prefer not to leave New Zealand and still pursue educational and basketball related goals.”
Thomas can’t wait for what he knows will be an invaluable learning opportunity.
“I’m really very grateful for the opportunity and support provided by the Breakers Academy. Participating in this Nike camp will enable me to match up against some of the region’s best players, and show where I need to improve further.”
Fitchett has no doubt that both James and Tom will do their families, school and association and the wider game in New Zealand proud.
“Both will be up to this challenge and I know will learn so much while away. This is about representing us as a basketball nursery in front of some of the best College scouts and coaches in the world, I have no concerns at all that they are up to it and will make the most of an exciting opportunity presented to them thanks to our partnership with Nike. Shane (Rose) and the team at Nike are equally passionate about these opportunities to promote our young talent on to the world stage and make sure that the entire experience is a good one for the players.”
Both players are currently involved in the Basketball New Zealand National U19 Championships, with final matches being played Tuesday at the North Shore Events Centre.
Moors Harbour team will be on court first up at 9am in their 5/6 ranking playoff match, with Whyte’s Auckland team playing in the men’s final at 5:00pm.
Read more about James More HERE
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