There are a number of Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns that will be plying their trade overseas during the upcoming European and Australasian seasons. Most leagues tip off in October but one exception is the British Basketball League that begins this weekend.
Benny ‘BJ’ Anthony hasn’t played a competitive game since rupturing his Achilles tendon playing for the Adelaide 36ers against the Breakers in early January. The injury forced the Tall Blacks forward to miss the entire New Zealand NBL season with the James Blond Supercity Rangers.
Anthony has parted ways with the 36ers and recently headed to the UK to join up with Plymouth Raiders, relative newcomers to the BBL.
The Raiders begin their British Basketball League season with a home tie against the London Lions on September 19th looking to make the play-offs for the first time in three attempts.
The Raiders have an interesting roster with no fewer than six antipodeans on their books; one of those is former Breaker Daryl Corletto. The others are past fringe Australian NBL players Bennie Lewis, Mike Vigor, Josh Wilcher and Auryn MacMillan. All reportedly have eligibility via British parentage or grand parentage but it is unclear if all six can suit up in the same game – if they can it certainly isn’t doing a great deal for the development of local talent in the UK.
Anthony has had a couple of previous stints in Europe but both were with German clubs – Herzoege Wolfenbuettel and Magdenburg.
The twenty seven year old has had a career regularly interrupted by injury and will be keen to put together a strong campaign for the Raiders in order to force his way back into Tall Blacks contention in 2016During the next few months Lacey Lowdown will be keeping an eye on the performances of our Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns playing overseas. To date seven Tall Blacks and six Tall Ferns have secured full time contracts for the 2015-16 season. Eight players will be suiting up in Australia and five in Europe. We will be taking a closer look at who, where and when in future editions of Kiwis Abroad.