After yesterday’s announcement regarding the invitation to attend an NBA training camp hosted by the Indiana Pacers this weeks ‘Kiwis Abroad’ focuses on the exploits of other Tall Ferns and Tall Blacks in Europe and Australia. We also have interesting news regarding a change of French club for Errin Rooney and Isaac Fotu’s preparation for the NBA EurocampFirstly back to Corey Webster and his exploits in Serbia.
Following a couple of losses Mega Leks got back to winning ways on Wednesday, easily defeating Tamis 90-68 in the Serbian Super League. Leks led from start to finish aided by 13 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists from Webster.
That was followed on Saturday with an equally comfortable 92-65 road win against Konstantin. Webster, given his recent good form, was strangely subdued converting just 2 from 9 shots on the way to 5 points plus 2rebs/2assists/1steal.
Mega Leks now have a 6-6 record and sit 4th on the Serbian Super League table.
Just a couple of days after helping La Bruixa d’Or Manresa pull off the upset of the season in the final round of the Spanish League regular season Isaac Fotu was on the move. Manresa had beaten League leaders and European Champions Real Madrid to retain their place in Liga Endesa for another season but Fotu did not have much time to relax.
Fotu headed to Zaragoza to rejoin the club he signed a three-year contract with in November. The Tall Blacks forward was loaned out to Manresa and enjoyed a terrific first pro season averaging 10.7 points and 4 rebounds over 26 games.
Next week Fotu will attend the NBA Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy. It is the only NBA sanctioned pre-draft camp held outside the USA.
Cedric Jackson may not be a Kiwi but many basketball fans will be interested to know that the Breakers point guard is currently playing for Mets de Guaynabo in the Puerto Rican League. Jackson is averaging a ridiculously high 8.3 assists as well as 14.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game for the third placed Mets.
Over in Australia Everard Bartlett and the Ballarat Miners had mixed success on their trip to Tasmania. Mid table in the Eastern Division of the SEABL League the Miners lost 83-69 to Hobart on Friday but bounced back on Saturday with a 101-85 victory against NW Tasmania. Bartlett had 15pts against Hobart and 10 points against NWT.
Tall Ferns point guard Errin Rooney will be returning to France next season and will turn out for COB Calais. Rooney played for Arras in the recently completed French League and averaged a highly satisfactory 7.3pts/4.3rebs and 3.6 assists in her first season out of college.
Rooney will be a certainty when the Tall Ferns squad is named later this month. A number of other players hoping to catch the eye of Ferns head coach Kennedy Kereama are currently playing for clubs in the various Australian state leagues.
Those players include Patrice McKenzie, Chevannah Paalvast, Samara Gallaher, Megan Craig, Lisa Wallbutton, Casey Lockwood and Toni Edmondson
Gallaher has helped Hume City Broncos stay top of the Victorian Big V competition. The Broncos beat Eltham 75-48 to improve their record to 11-1. Gallaher contributed 8 points and 8 rebounds.
Paalvast also plays in the Big V League for Southern Penninsula Sharks. Paalvast recorded a double double of 15 points and 10 rebounds as the Sharks beat Sherbrooke 64-42 to sit 4th on the ladder behind the Broncos.
McKenzie plays for Frankston Blues in the South Division of the SEABL League, regarded by most as the premier State League in Australia. The Blues are 2-1 in the early stages of the season with Lockwood averaging 6p/7.3r/2.7a over the first three fixtures.
Over in the Western Australia SBL Megan Craig is suiting up for the Lakeside Lightning, Lisa Wallbutton dons the Willetton Tigers colours and Casey Lockwood and Toni Edmondson wear the green and white of the Joondalup Wolves.
The Lightning was without a game over the weekend but the Wolves and Tigers both had comfortable wins.
Lockwood (9p/8r) and Edmondson (13p) both featured strongly as the Wolves remained second on the table, beating Perth Redbacks 71-45.
It was a similar scoreline as Willeton Tigers defeated Perry Lakes Hawks 73-46. Lisa Wallbutton only scored 2 points but the rest of her stat line looked like a Dillon Boucher effort – 10r/4a/2st/3blocks!