NZ Under 17 Women make history


At the weekend the New Zealand Under 17 Girl’s team will become the first New Zealand age group team to take part in an FIBA Asia Zone tournament.

Following in the footsteps of the Tall Ferns the team are playing in Bangalore, India and will play Australia in its first game on Sunday.

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Mixed week for Tall Ferns overseas





Jillian Harmon was the best individual performer amongst the overseas base Tall Ferns last weekend but it didn’t help secure a win.

In contrast Kalani Purcell and the Melbourne Boomers had a very satisfactory weekend recording two victories.

Purcell made 9 points plus 4 rebounds and an assist as Melbourne thumped Bendigo Spirit 90-63 on Friday.

It was equally comfortable on Sunday as Melbourne, coached by Tall Ferns assistant Guy Molloy cruised past Canberra Capitals 92-63 to improve to 3-1 for the season. A quiet 4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists for Purcell in this one.

Two games played and two wins registered for Townsville Fire after a 76-63 win against Canberra up in Queensland on Friday. Micaela Cocks scored 5 points to accompany 4 rebounds and a solitary assist.

Toni Farnworth is still recovering from a fractured wrist and missed the Perth Lynx double-header road trip. The Lynx lost both fixtures going down to Adelaide Lightning and Bendigo Spirit to slip to 0-3 after the first two rounds of the season – looks as if they need the Tall Ferns guard back as soon as possible.

Despite a game high 19 points Jillian Harmon will have been bitterly disappointed by Napoli’s 79-70 home loss to Le Mura Lucca in the Italian League.

Lucca is the team Harmon helped to the Italian Championship last season but they proved too strong for Napoli who are now 1-2 after a second straight loss.

Double delight for the Webster’s

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There were wins for both Webster brothers in Europe at the weekend plus Euro Cup success for Isaac Fotu.

Frankfurt Skyliners have made an encouraging start in the German League. Its latest success, a 78-71 victory against Braunschweig, has given the Skyliners a 3-1 start to the season.

Kiwi guard Tai Webster is travelling well for the Skyliners averaging 12 points and 5.5 assists per game. In an impressive display against Braunschweig Webster scored 16 points and added 3 rebounds, 5 assists and a pair of steals.

It was also a good weekend In Israel for brother Corey who dished a game high 7 assists as Ironi Nahariya defeated Hapoel, Tel Aviv 102-87.

Webster senior also landed three from six triples on his way to 15 points as Nahariya moved to 1-1 after a loss in the opening round of the season.

Interestingly the shooting guard’s bio on the Nahariya website describes the 28-year old as a first year pro ignoring the fact that he played eight seasons for the Breakers.

Isaac Fotu and his new German club Ratiopharm Ulm are still awaiting a first League win after going down 92-87 at Jenna. Fotu provided 10 points (5/8FG), 7 rebounds and 3 assists but it wasn’t enough to get Ulm the win as they slip to 0-4.

Better news came in the EuroCup midweek fixture as Ulm proved too good for Turkish side Tofas Bursa beating its Group D opponents 83-73 with a dominant 28-11 final quarter showing.

Fotu contributed 5 rebounds and 10 points in the home win.

Brayden Inger the latest Kiwi to commit to an American Div 1 University

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I had the pleasure of chatting with Brayden Inger the latest New Zealand player to secure a scholarship in the States.

Brayden becomes the latest in a line of Rangitoto alumni that have headed to Division 1 schools.

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Tall Blacks 27th on World Rankings but could change in November

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The Tall Blacks currently hold a World Ranking of 27 but with FIBA introducing a new ranking formula that could change in November.

The innovative game-based ranking factors in results from official games played by 153 national teams and will be updated after every window of Qualifiers and following the conclusion of top official FIBA competitions.

The new ranking is based on results of games ranging from regional pre-qualifiers all the way to the FIBA Basketball World Cup Final, and includes the Olympic Basketball Tournament as well as the Continental Cups. The previous ranking was purely competition-based and only took into account the final standings of tournaments.

The basic principle is simple: 1,000 basis points are awarded in each game, with the two teams earning a share of these according to the margin of victory or defeat. Weightings are added on a round basis meaning that, when a team progresses through a top official FIBA competition, its wins are worth more with every round it plays.

The ranking has revised weightings of the competitions. For the first time, it sees the implementation of a time decay rewarding teams for their most recent performances. This replaces the system in place under the previous ranking, where all games over the 8-year period received the exact same value.

Finally, the new ranking also recognizes the value of away wins and rewards facing and beating opponents that are higher in the ranking.

FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Patrick Baumann said: “The new ranking was devised with our new calendar clearly in mind. We are pleased to offer more teams – 153 of them, compared to 91 previously – a ranking that can be updated after every window of the Qualifiers so that national teams, fans and their national federations can follow their progress on a more regular basis.

Prior to the change, the rankings already proved to be among the most popular pages on and we expect there will be even more debating and conversations taking place following the implementation of this new one.”

For now, the new FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike, only applies to senior men’s national teams and competitions. FIBA will work towards drawing up and implementing similar systems for the women’s and youth (boys and girls) rankings at a later stage.

The Tall Blacks begin its World Cup Qualifying campaign with Asian Zone fixtures against Korea in Wellington on November 23rd and in Hong Kong on November 26th.

A loss in either fixture would see New Zealand’s ranking dip as both Korea (34th) and Hong Kong (82nd) hold a lower ranking than the Tall Blacks.

It is expected that the Tall Blacks will be close to full strength for both fixtures with European based players Isaac Fotu, Tai Webster and Corey Webster all likely to be available.

NZ Secondary Schools power-base remains in Auckland and Hamilton


Following the conclusion of the Schick National Championships at the weekend it appears that the Secondary Schools power-base shows little signs of shifting – at least in the Boys’ competition.

Not only did the Boys’ National title remain in Auckland for the third straight year, and the 10th occasion in the past 14 years, the City of Sails schools occupied five of the top eight spots.

The story was similar in 2016 with six schools, Auckland Grammar, Rangitoto, Rosmini, Westlake, Mt Albert and Kelston cementing top nine finishes.

Kelston fell to 21st this year but all three podium places last week were taken by Auckland schools with Rosmini champions, Rangitoto runners-up and Mt Albert a highly creditable third after finishing fifth at the Zone 1 Premierships. It is believed that third place is the best ever finish by Mt Albert.

There is a ray of hope for the schools further south as a number of the Auckland schools were heavily laced with Year 13 boys this year and may not be as powerful next year.

Rongotai College from the capital, Cashmere High from Christchurch and Hamilton Boys High amongst others will be licking their lips at the prospect of turning over teams from Zone 1 in 2018.

2017 Boys’ Schick Championships ‘AA’ Competition Final Team Placing’s

1st Rosmini College

2nd Rangitoto College

3rd Mt Albert Grammar

4th Christ’s College

5th Palmerston North Boys High School

6th Auckland Grammar School

7th Westlake Boys’ High School

8th Rongotai College

9th Hamilton Boys’ High School

10th Middleton Grange

11th Hastings Boys’ High School

12th Napier Boys’ High School

13th Cashmere High School

14th Burnside High School

15th St John’s College Hamilton

16th Wellington College

17th Shirley Boys’ High School

18th Fraser High School

19th Waimea College

20th Melville High School

21st Kelston Boys’ High School

22nd New Plymouth Boys’ High School

23rd St Peter’s Cambridge

24th St Peter’s Auckland


The picture is not quite so clear-cut in the Girls’ arena although there is little doubt the balance is in favour of the Waikato region despite St Mary’s victory on Saturday. Waikato had won three of the previous five titles and prior to the double by Hutt Valley in 2011 and 2010 Church College had been the dominant force.

This year the Waikato schools occupied 3 of the top 8 places (three in the top six to be precise). Auckland matched that with three and Wellington two.

Last year Waikato boasted St Peter’s as champions and also had Hamilton and Melville again in the top eight. Mt Albert, Westlake and Auckland Grammar, as they were this year were in the top echelon with New Plymouth and Waimea rounding out the eight.

St Peter’s look likely major contenders for at least two more years, as the prolific Charlisse Leger-Walker is only a Year 11 student. St Mary’s, unbeaten in 2017, only lose a couple of players as do Westlake, Massey and Mt Albert.

Challenges will also come from the likes of Hutt Valley and St Andrew’s College but for now the Girl’s from ‘Mooloo Country’ rule the roost.

2017 Girls’ Schick Championships ‘AA’ Competition Final Team Placings:

 1st St Mary’s College, Wellington

2nd St Peter’s Cambridge

3rd Auckland Girls’ Grammar School

4th Melville High School

5th Mt Albert Grammar School

6th Hamilton Girls’ High School

7th Hutt Valley High School

8th Westlake Girls’ High School

9th Massey High School

10th St Hilda’s Collegiate

11th Middleton Grange

12th Palmerston North Girls’ High School

13th Rotorua Girls’ High School

14th Hastings Girls’ High School

15th Rangi Ruru

16th St Andrew’s College

17th Western Heights High School

18th Sacred Heart Girls’ College, New Plymouth

19th Rangitoto College

20th Ashburton College

21st New Plymouth Girls’ High School

22nd Christchurch Girls’ High School

23rd Napier Girls’ High School

24th Carmel College

Mixed news for Tall Ferns overseas last weekend


The Australian WNBL began at the weekend with Micaela Cocks and her Townsville Fire team getting one over on Melbourne Boomers with Kalani Purcell in their lineup.

The Fire won 63-54 with Cocks contributing a solid 8 points that included a brace of threes, 2 rebounds, an assist and a steal.

Purcell had 4 points and 4 rebounds for the Boomers.

It wasn’t all bad news for Purcell as in the opening game of the weekend, on debut, she contributed in her usual manner attempting to fill every stats category – 6 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and a block – Melbourne beating Dandenong Rangers 76-61.

Chevannah Paalvast was also making her debut, the Tall Fern guard playing five minutes for Canberra Capitals as it beat Bendigo Spirit 93-80. Long enough for Paalvast to get on the scoreboard with a couple of points.

Toni Farnworth was unable to suit up for Perth Lynx as she sustained a fractured wrist in a pre season game the previous weekend. The Lynx missed the influential Kiwi guard going down 93-80 at home to last season’s champions Sydney University Flames.

In Italy Jillian Harmon scored 9 points and added 6 rebounds and 3 assists in 38 minutes of action but Napoli went down 51-48 at home to Venezia in its second game of the season. In a defence dominated encounter Napoli managed just 8 points in the fourth quarter.

Rosmini and St Mary’s are the new Schick Secondary Schools Champs


A fantastic festival of Secondary Schools basketball has concluded.

Read my wrap on the Girls’ and Boy’s Finals here


Finalists found at Schick Secondary Schools Nationals


Can Rosmini College and St Mary’s, Wellington prevent Rangitoto and St Peter’s Cambridge retaining its National titles?

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Schick Secondary Schools – Day 4


Day 4 saw the Girls and Boys ‘A’ Champions crowned and the ‘AA’ semi-finalists sorted.

Features of the ‘AA’ Boys quarter-finals were the elimination of multiple championship winners Westlake Boys and last year’s finalist Palmerston North.

In the ‘AA’ Girls tournament there were local derby wins for St Mary’s, Melville and Auckland Grammar.

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