Four to follow in the NBL in 2014 – No 1
In 2013 Shea Ili enjoyed a productive season with the James Blond Super City Rangers. He averaged 10.8 points per game in his 14 appearances and progressed from bit part player early in the campaign to starter by mid season.
The Rangers may rue the decision to allow 21 year old Ili to transfer to the Zero Fees Southland Sharks for the 2014 season as I expect him to make a sizeable impact off the bench for the defending champions.
Ili has many of the attributes Sharks coach Paul Henare possessed during his playing days, hard working, coachable, a good athlete with a liking for defence. Similar to his coach his perimeter shooting is not his strong suit – his three point percentage last season was just 27.8% and will need to improve.
However, his quickness and ability to get to the hoop is a real asset and in offensive transition he is likely to prosper from the passing ability of Sharks captain Kevin Braswell. A member of the tournament team at the Under 23 Nationals last year Ili is looking forward to joining up with his Counties Manukau buddy Reuben Te Rangi as the Sharks bid to retain their NBL title.
His ambition is to secure a development player spot at the SKY City Breakers. Playing alongside the likes of Te Rangi, and Braswell and under the tutorage of Henare his chances of fulfilling that ambition won’t be harmed.