2001-2002 Tall Blacks flash back


It certainly doesn’t seem 15 years ago that the Tall Blacks sealed an historic victory against the Australian Boomers to win the FIBA Oceania Championships and book a passage to the 2002 World Championships.

The Tall Blacks won the first fixture of the three game series in Wellington 85-78 but when the second game was lost  81-79 in overtime, the following day, at Mystery Creek many felt the hosts had lost their chanced to progress.

However a third game in as many days went the way of the Kiwis 89-78 in front of a raucous crowd at North Shore Events Centre and history was made. The Tall Blacks led 70-67 at three-quarter time and turned the defensive screws in the final period keeping the Boomers to just 11 points.

Aussie coach Phil Smythe is probably still having nightmares about game three but for all associated with New Zealand basketball the series and that result on September 23rd, 2001 will stay long in the memory.

The Tall Blacks team reads like a who’s who of New Zealand Basketball from the past couple of decades with a good number likely to feature if selecting an All-Time Tall Blacks team (and coaching combo).

Dickel, Jones and Cameron would be guaranteed spots with Boucher and Henare both coming into the reckoning as role players from the 2001 group. Sean Marks from the World Champs squad would compliment Pero nicely in the front court.

The New Zealand team that defeated Australia;

4 Mark Dickel
5 Judd Flavell
7 Paul Henare
8 Phill Jones
9 Brendon Cathie-Pongia
10 Dillon Boucher
11 Pero Cameron
12 Tony Rampton
14 Willie Burton
15 Damon Rampton
Head Coach: Tab Baldwin, Assistant Coach: Nenad Vucinic,

The Australian team:
5 Brett Maher
6 Scott McGregor
7 Glen Saville
8 Daniel Egan
10 Darryl McDonald
11 Matthew Neilsen
12 Ben Melmeth
13 Axel Dench
14 Derek Moore
15 Ben Knight
Head Coach: Phil Smyth, Assistant Coach: Steve Breheny, Assistant Coach Gordie McLeod,

The squad that went to Indianapolis in 2012:
4 Mark Dickel
5 Judd Flavell
6 Kirk Penney
7 Paul Henare
8 Phill Jones
9 Paora Winitana
10 Dillon Boucher
11 Pero Cameron
12 Damon Rampton
13 Ed Book
14 Sean Marks
15 Robert Hickey

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