Five young New Zealand basketballers will get the chance to rub shoulders with NBA coaches, NBA scouts and fellow NBA aspirants when they attend the FIBA and NBA backed Basketball Without Borders Asia Camp in Australia next month.
The prestigious camp is an invite only opportunity for players to be put on a world stage with the best players born in 1999 from the Asian region and will this year be hosted at the Dandenong Basketball Stadium in Melbourne, from June 23-26, marking the first time that the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program will be held in Australia. BWB will celebrate its 15th anniversary this summer.
Attending for New Zealand will be:
· Samuel Waardenburg, power forward, 208cm, 17 years old, North Harbour
· Daniel Fotu, small forward, 192cm, 16 years old, North Harbour
· Quinn Clinton, combo guard, 190cm, 17 years old, Canterbury
· Hamish McDonald, guard, 185cm, 17 years old, Waikato
· Callum McRae, centre, 212cm, 16 years old (turns 17 on May 18), Palmerston North
Basketball New Zealand CEO Iain Potter says the invite for the five young men is further testament to the growing reputation of New Zealand as a producer of outstanding basketball talent.
“New Zealand is highly regarded on the world stage, with all of our teams, men and women, from age group to our senior national teams. That is largely the result of our ability to consistently foot it with much bigger countries and higher ranked teams, whether it is our U18 men winning FIBA 3X3 World Championships (2011 and 2015), the Tall Blacks winning the Stankovic Cup in China (2011 and 2015) or individual players making their mark in the world such as Steven Adams in the NBA, Micaela Cocks in the Australian Women’s NBL or younger players both men and women at strong American Universities.
“The Basketball Without Borders camp is highly regarded throughout the world, and will be supported by and attended by NBA and American College scouts, all looking to unearth the next great talent. I am proud to say that our young New Zealanders will feature high on their list of players to watch. We wish the five all the best and advise them to soak up as much experience and take on board as much as they can in what will be a whirlwind week of basketball education.”
As well as the players attending BWB and the doors that might open for them, Junior Tall Blacks head coach Daryl Cartwright and possibly assistant coach Gavin Briggs (TBC) will also attend to further their experience on the international stage.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for Daryl and possibly Gavin as well to further their coaching experience and to see firsthand a camp of this magnitude,” said Potter. “They will get the chance to workshop and rub shoulders with coaches from around the world and from some of the best leagues in the world, which is a further investment in them that they can bring home in their work with the Junior Tall Blacks and other teams they work with during the year.”
The players themselves are understandably delighted at the opportunity, here is what they each had to say upon hearing the news.
“I’m really pleased and excited to have received this invitation to attend the BWB Camp in Melbourne in June. Training and playing with my NZ team mates as well as athletes from Australia and Asia under the NBA, NBL and FIBA coaches is going to be an amazing experience which will hopefully help me achieve my current goal of playingCollege Basketball in the United States from next year.” – Hamish McDonald.
“It is an honour to be able to participate in this camp, and have the opportunity to learn from some of the most experienced people in basketball. I’m thrilled to be a part of this first ever Basketball Without Borders camp in Australia, and represent my country at this high level.” – Sam Waardenburg.
“When I found out I had been selected for the Basketball Without Borders camp I was really happy and excited. I have heard of the camp before and know what a great experience it is, to be able to train and play with such great athletes from around Asia, Australia and New Zealand it will be amazing. To be coached by NBA, NBL or Fiba coaches will be awesome and I really want to go over and take everything in and hopefully it will make me a better player and leader.” – Dan Fotu
“I’m really excited to be able to have the opportunity to train with and against players who are at or above my level that I don’t have in my area. I’m also looking forward to having coaches who know what it takes to reach leagues such as the NBA and who may have been in a similar position to me before. This will help my development immensely as I will be able to compare myself to other centres around my size and age in this region, also being coached by coaches who can see the areas where I need to improve on so I can take my basketball to a higher level. I am very grateful for this opportunity and I’m looking forward to experiencing and take advantage of what they have to offer.” – Callum McRae
“I’m extremely excited by the thought of participating in the first ever BWB camp to be held in Melbourne, Australia. I feel very lucky to have this opportunity to represent New Zealand and compete with players from different countries while learning from world-class coaches. It’s a huge learning opportunity.” – Quinn Clinton