It is a bit of a challenge trying to keep tabs on the growing number of Kiwis playing in American college basketball. Here is a little summary of who is doing what in the Women’s teams with apologies in advance for those I have overlooked. Time permits to have a look only at players in NCAA Division 1 schools.
For convenience I have grouped the players by year groups.
Kalani Purcell continues to impresses at BYU. The Tall Ferns forward is averaging almost a double double for the Cougars (12 points and 9.2 rebounds) as well as leading the team in steals. The Cougars were West Coast Conference regular season champions last year and have begun with a win and a loss in defence of that title. Purcell had 18 double doubles last season the most by a BYU player in a season – she has 6 already this season.
Playing in the Big Sky Conference is former Freyberg High guard Freya Newton. She has started all 13 games for Idaho State Bengals that are currently 8-5 for the season. Newton is contributing a very useful 5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2 assists per game. Unfortunately she is not getting to play alongside Brooke Blair as her fellow senior went down with an ACL injury in the opening game of the season. Blair is now red shirting this season.
Penina Davidson, in her Junior year at Cal Berkley has been in stunning form of late for the California Berkley Bears that are 13-1 for the season and rated in the top 25 teams in the country. Davidson is averaging 8 points and 6 rebounds per game, last week posting a career high 19 points against Arizona State. Four days earlier she had 12 points and 14 rebounds at Arizona
St Mary’s Gaels, like BYU, are 1-1 in West Coast Conference play with Stella Beck performing at her consistent best. The former Hutt Valley standout has started in all 13 games and leads the Gaels in scoring (13.8ppg) and assists (3.5apg). Beck and Purcell will go head to head later this week.
Former Canterbury centre Tessa Boagni is averaging 8 points and 7.4 rebounds for California State Northridge Matadors. The Matadors, about to embark on Big West Conference action, are 7-7 for the season with Boagni a key player in their lineup. Boagni was huge last week against Seattle with a double double of 15 points and 11 rebounds.
In the same game Jacinta Beckley scored a career best 16 points for Seattle who are struggling at 3-12 for the season. Beckley is averaging 6 points and 3 rebounds per game.
Former Waitakere Lady Ranger, Moengaroa Subritzky is putting up good numbers at Maryland Eastern Shore averaging 12.5 points per game for the Hawks. Second in scoring she leads the team in rebounding (7.8rpg) and had a double double of 14 points and 11 rebounds against USC Upstate in their last hit out before Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play.
Cantabrian Mary Goulding has played all 16 games for Fordham University Rams that have started Atlantic-10 conference play 2-0. Goulding is averaging 13 minutes court time scoring 2.6 points and securing 1.8 rebounds per appearance.
Waimea College alumni Gracie Roberts is in her first year at Detroit Mercy having spent a year at North Idaho Junior College. She has had 5 starts in 11 games for the Titans averaging 2 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists during her 12 minutes per game of action.
Krystal Leger-Walker may be in her freshman year but she has been thrust into a starting role at Northern Colorado Bears that are 2-0 in Big Sky Conference action. The Waikato guard hasn’t quite found her best shooting form averaging 5.7 points per game. She also averages 3.5 assists as the Bears enter the New Year with a 10-3 record.
Shalae Salmon is making a good fist of things alongside Purcell at BYU. The former Porirua forward has started in 6 fixtures and averages 3 points and 3 rebounds per game, gathering more playing time as the season progresses.
Kayla Manuirirangi has played in 13 of Tulane’s 14 fixtures although her time on court has been limited to 5 minutes a game. The former New Plymouth Girls High guard is averaging a couple of points and a rebound per game.
Katelin Noyer, like most freshmen tend to, has struggled for court time in her first year at Fresno State. However she was terrific last week scoring 12 points (6/9FG) in helping the Bulldogs eke out a 71-70 win at Nevada. Fresno are now 1-1 in Mountain West Conference play and 8-5 for the season.
Wellington guard Tegan Graham, also in her first season, has had 6 starts in 9 outings for Colgate University averaging 4.1 points per game for the Raiders. The former Wellington Girls College captain as scored 8 points twice for the Raiders.
Laken Wairau (Freshman at Indiana), Keziah Lewis (Senior at Kent State) and Dru Toleafoa (Sophmore at Santa Clara) have only played a handful of games for their respective teams this season.