Category Archives: College Hoops

Opening Week Wrap – Kiwi Men playing NCAA Div I hoops


Taki Fahrensohn

Slightly delayed but below is all the Kiwi news and numbers from the first few days of NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball.

Catching up with Ben Johnson, University of Portland Assistant Coach , at Schick Secondary Schools Nationals last month he said he was confident Taki Fahrensohn would make an impact this season.

“Taki is now in his third year on the programme and we are looking forward to him having a big year for us. He’s put on about fifteen pounds of good muscle and can really shoot the ball,” said Johnson.

Well Fahrensohn enjoyed a start for Portland in their opening game scoring 7 points and adding 3 rebounds as the Pilots navigated past Willamette 86-36. He followed that with 10 points and 6 rebounds in the loss to USC (76-65) to emphasise the confidence Coach Johnson has in him.

Also starting was UC Riverside and former Palmy North Boys High centre Callum McRae.  He didn’t disappoint filling the stats line with 9 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a bock as the Highlanders won at Nebraska 66-47.

A third starter was Miami’s Sam Waardenburg who came close to a double double as the Canes beat Florida Atlantic 74-60. The former Rangitoto man finished with 9 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, a block and a steal.

Yanni Wetzell made every post a winner in his debut game for San Diego State. Having transferred from Vanderbilt the former Westlake big man posted 8 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block as San Diego defeated Texas Southern 77-42.

Matt Freeman has also had a change of scenery for his final collegiate year. Freeman has moved from Oklahoma to University of California Santa Barbara and he scored 12 points making 3 from 6 from beyond the arc as the Gauchos fell 77-61 to UCLA Bruins.

Izayah Le’afa scored 9 points for Sacramento State Hornets in a one sided win against Simpson (76-27).

Senior guard Jackson Stent had 7 points and 6 rebounds as Houston Baptist fell 80-72 at Tulsa.

Freshman Kruz Perrott-Hunt has scored his first college points as South Dakota Coyotes carried off the Rainbow Classic trophy in Hawaii after recording three straight wins. Perrott-Hunt had two points and 2 rebounds in the third win (85-82 against Florida A&M) and also had the final say of the game getting a deflection on a shot from a Florida player as he attempted to tie the game as time expired.

Another freshman Max de Geest debuted for Long Beach State in their 74-62 defeat of San Diego. The shooting guard played 4 minutes collecting a rebound in that time but was a standout in his second game notching 13 points (7/3 3PG) in 20 minutes as Lon Beach fell to Stanford

Quinn Clinton and St Mary’s College Gaels coaching staff have decided it best he redshirts this year to overcome some injury problems incurred in pre-season. He will therefore defer his sophomore year until 2020-21.

Better news for Angus McWilliam who has been cleared to play for UC Riverside, alongside Callum McRae, following his transfer from TCU.


Amiee Book the star – NCAA Div I women’s weekly wrap.

Aimee book

The best performance by a Kiwi woman in the opening week of the NCAA Division I season went the way of Amiee Book.

The former Waimea College and Middleton Grange guard scored a career high 27 points on 10 from 16 shooting for Cal State Fullerton in their 79-63 loss to Southern Utah. Last season Book knocked down the three-ball at 43.2% (the third best three-point shooting in UCSF history) and she was back in the groove making 6 from 9 from beyond the arc in against Southern Utah. Book also added 7 rebounds for good measure.

There were a number of ther noteworthy performances in the opening week.

Kendell Heremaia posted a fine double despite Fordham University losing their opening two games. Heremaia logged 14 points (5/7 3PG) and 9 rebounds as Fordham fell 60-55 to #16 Notre Dame. She followed that with 13 points and 4 rebounds in the 70-51 loss at Columbia.Also doing damage on the boards was BYU centre Shalae Salmon. The Cougars senior pulled down 7 rebounds and added 11 points and a pair of blocks in the 105-52 win against Antelope Valley.

Also doing damage on the boards was BYU centre Shalae Salmon. The Cougars senior pulled down 7 rebounds and added 11 points and a pair of blocks in the 105-52 win against Antelope Valley.

Michelle Nicholls, having transferred from La Salle University has made a successful start to her career at Purdue, Fort Wayne. She led all scorers with 18 points 3/5 3PG) as Purdue beat University of Illinois at Chicago 61-50.

McKenna Dale missed all of last season with an ACL injury but showed no signs of rustiness making 9 points and 5 rebounds as Brown University lost a low scoring encounter with Bryant 45-44.

Kayla Manuirirangi began the season with 10 points (3/6 3PG) as Tulane University Green Wave cruised past Jackson State 82-48.

Sophomore guard Sariah Penese came up with 5 points, a couple of assists and 3 steals as Maryland Baltimore defeated Gettysburg 92-50.

Shout-out to the freshmen who made their Division I debuts. Tara Manumaleuga who produced 3 points, 2 rebounds and an assist on debut for Arizona in the 74-42 demolition of North Dakota.

Kaylee Smiler knocked down a free throw to score her first point as BYU had little trouble in beating Antelope Valley 105-52.

Charlotte Whittaker (3 points and a rebound) saw 13 minutes of action as University of Colorado opened the season with a comfortable 80-57 win against New Jersey Institute.

Akiene-Tera Reed has missed a couple of games with a hand injury but she is expected to make a return in the near future.

Kiwi Men and Women at Junior College in the States

Sharne P-R

Sharne Pupuke-Robati 

Below is the list of Kiwis playing Junior College basketball in the States in the 2019/20 collegiate season.


Kaitlin Burgess (College of Southern Idaho) ex Rangitoto College and Riverton High, USA.

Grace Hunter (South Plains College, Texas) ex Queen Mary’s College, Wellington.

Awatea Leach (Collin Community College) ex Rotorua Girls High

Leah Mafua (Otero Junior College) ex Hutt Valley High

Lauryn Mapusua (Hutchinson Community College) ex Brisbane State High

Jada Menasa (Mineral Area College) ex Mt Albert Grammar.

Rionne Papa (Mineral Area College) ex Auckland Grammar.

Kyra Paniora (Hutchinson Community College)

Kay-Hauata Phillips (?)

Sharne Pupuke-Robati (Utah State Eastern) ex Mt Albert Grammar.

Riana Rangi-Brown (Mineral Area College) ex Mt Albert Grammar.

Connie Taylor (Cowlie College) ex Rangi Ruru Girls


Daniel Christensen (Barstow College) ex Taradale College

Mattson Darrah (Herkimer College) ex Wellington College

Nico Hill (Missouri State – West Plains) ex Opunake High.

Vincent Keremete-Davies (West Valley College) ex Impact Academy

Thabo Manyere (Barstow College) ex Westlake Boys – redshirt 2019/20 due to injury

Jake McKinlay (Mineral Area College) ex Palmerston North Boys High

Dylan Ryburn (Nebraska) ex Hamilton Boys High.

Josh Tawhiao (Barstow College) ex Rangitoto College

Kiwi Men in College – NCAA Div III and NAIA

Joe Cook-Green

Joe Cook-Green

Below is a list of Kiwi Men playing NCAA Division III College basketball plus those playing National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).



Joe Cook-Green (Texas Wesleyan University after attending Otago Boys High)

Jordan Hunt (Southern Oregon University out of Hutt Valley High)

Kane Keil (University of Antelope Valley after attending Auckland Grammar School)


Carl Isitt (Central Methodist University after attending Papanui High)

Corey La’aupepe (Menio College after attending St Pat’s Town)


Maxim Stephens (Rocky Mountain College, Montana after attending Hamilton Boys High)

Travis Wright (Florida National University after attending Napier Boys High)


NCAA Division III


Sam Lees (Whitworth University after attending Middleton Grange School

Liam Wilby (Allegheny College out of Wellington College)


Harrison Williams (Castleton University, formerly at St Kentigern College)


Will Harrison (St Lawrence University after attending Christ’s College)

Trent Smith (Blackburn College after attending Palmerston North Boys High)

Aidan Phizackerley (Linfield College after attending St Kentigern College)

Harry Wall (Shenandoah University after attending Scots College)

Noah Watson (Muhlenberg College after attending Archbishop Walsh School)


Fletcher Arnold (Knox College after attending Ashburton College)

Ben Reeves (St Joseph’s College after attending Otago Boys High School)

Kiwis at Canadian colleges – men and women

Dionne Martin (Canada)

Dionne Martin

At least five New Zealand players, three women and two men, have basketball scholarships at Canadian Universities.


Dionne Martin (Algoma University)

Season 18/19 Games 23, Starts 20, Points 279 (12.1ppg), Rebounds 124 (5.4rpg), Assists 44 (1.9)

From Hamilton Girls High School Martin attended Southeast Community College before Algoma.

The Taupo native was the leading scorer (12.1ppg) and rebounder (5.4rpg) last season. Martin scored double-digit points in nine games for the Thunderbirds.


Hayden Collier - Canada

Hayden Collier

Hayden Collier (University of Regina)

Attended Rangiora High School before spending two years at Laramie County Community College.

Isaac Miller-Jose (University of Manitoba)

Season 18/19 Games 16, Points 75 (4.7ppg), Rebounds 56 (3.5rpg)

Scored a season best 20 points against Trinity Western in January, 2019.

Attended Wellington College.



Maia Watling (Cape Breton University)

Season 18/19 Games 9, Points 23, Rebounds 15

Attended Palmerston North Girls High School.

Played for North Canterbury Spirit in 2019 WBC season.

Sofia Kennedy

Sofia Kennedy


 Sofia Kennedy (University of Windsor)

 From Middleton Grange School, Christchurch.

Played for Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats in 2019 WBC season.

Kiwis in college preview – NCAA Division II Men


Jayden Bezzant

Continuing our preview of the 2019-20 US college basketball season we take a look at the New Zealand men playing NCAA Division II hoops.

In 2018-19 there were 21 Kiwi men at NCAA Division II colleges – for the 2019-20 season that number has dropped to 18 but still well above the 11 that were playing in 2017-18.

Combined Division I and II there are 38 Kiwi men at US colleges this season.


 Jayden Bezzant (Northwest Nazarine University)

Season 18/19 Games 26, Starts 8, Points 341 (13.1ppg), Rebounds 54 (2.1rpg), Assists 55 (2.1)

Has scored 944 career points for the Nighthawks in 77 games played.

From Tauranga attended St John’s College, Hamilton.

Isaac Davidson (Sonoma State University)

Season 18/19 Games 27, Starts 23, Points 375 (13.9ppg), Rebounds 121 (4.5rpg)

Last season led Sonoma in 3-point shooting percentage making 39 from 86 at 45.4%.

Like sister, Tall Fern Penina Davidson, Isaac attended Rangitoto College.

Logan Elers (South Dakota School of Mines)

Season 18/19 Games 30, Starts 0, Points 359 (12.0ppg), Rebounds 189 (6.3rpg), Assists 65 (3.2)

Out of Rotorua Boys High School Elers had highs of 21 points, 18 rebounds and 7 assists for South Dakota last season playing alongside fellow Kiwi Wilfred Dickson.



Wilfred Dickson (South Dakota School of Mines)

Season 18/19 Games 30, Starts 1, Points 123 (4.1ppg), Rebounds 44 (1.5rpg)

From Napier Boys High School Dickson is playing alongside Logan Elers for South Dakota School of Mines Rockers.

Patrick Robertson (University of Maine at Augusta)

Season 18/19 Games 22, Starts 0, Points 55 (2.5ppg), Rebounds 44 (2.0rpg)

A shooting guard Robertson is out of Rosmini College although he spent his final year in high school at Rotorua Boys High.



 Mandela Baledrokadroka (Davis & Elkins College)

Season 18/19 Games 6, Starts 6, Points 85 (14.2ppg), Rebounds 45 (7.5rpg), Assists 28 (4.7apg)

Former Mt Albert Grammar School standout with one of the coolest names in Kiwi basketball.

 Conor Flanagan (University of West Florida)

 The former Auckland Grammar School centre will play alongside Johnny Helu for the superbly named Argonauts – sat out last year due to injury incurred at NZ U23 Nationals.

Expected to play substantial minutes this season.

T Higgins

Tom Higgins

Tom Higgins ( Texas A&M International)

Season 18/19 Games 26, Starts 12, Points 91 (3.5ppg), Rebounds 81 (3.1rpg)

Before completing his high school studies at Auckland Grammar School Higgins attended Te Awamutu College. Scored a season high 16 points against St Mary’s, Texas in his freshman year.

Played for the Junior Tall Blacks at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup in Greece.

Josh Lowe (Lee University)

Season 18/19 Games 23, Starts 0, Points 59 (2.6ppg), Rebounds 38 (1.7rpg)

The rangy forward spent time at Impact Academy in Florida after graduating from Ashburton College.

Oscar Oswald.jpeg

Oscar Oswald

Oscar Oswald (St Edwards University)

Season 18/19 Games 6, Starts 0

The former Palmerston North Boys High standout will unfortunately have to redshirt the 2019-20 season after undergoing ACL surgery.

Played for the Junior Tall Blacks at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup in Greece.

Tom Power (University of Hawaii at Hilo)

Season 18/19 Games 26, Starts 1, Points 31 (1.2ppg), Rebounds 41 (1.6rpg)

The former Hamilton Boys High forward is well regarded at Hilo where he played in all 26 games for the Vulcans last season as a freshman.

Tom Power

Tom Power


Matt Brien (University of Nebraska at Kearney)

Attended St Kevin’s in Oamaru before finishing high school at St Pat’s College, Wellington. Then spent a year at OnPoint Academy in El Reno, USA.

 Kurt Feneon (Christian Brothers University)

Formerly of Christchurch Boys High School and Mainland Eagles Academy.

Will Heather (Dallas Baptist University)

The former Rosmini College centre missed the 2018-19 season due to shoulder surgery.

Played for New Zealand at the 2017 FIBA U18 3×3 World Cup in China.

Sione Johnny Helu (University of West Florida)

Out of Wellington College Helu will play alongside Conor Flanagen for the West Florida Argonauts. He was MVP at 2019 U23 Nationals playing for Hutt Valley.

Tyler Marsh (St Cloud State University)

A product of Waimea College, Nelson and Mainland Eagles Academy.

Oscar Robertson (Regis University)

Out of New Plymouth Boys High School played for New Zealand at the 2017 FIBA U17 Oceania Championships in Guam.

Thomas Whyte (Assumption College)

After graduating from Auckland Grammar School attended St Thomas More Prep School in the States for a year.

Played 3×3 Basketball for New Zealand at 2018 Youth Olympics in Argentina.

Kiwis in college preview – NCAA Division II Women

Zoe Richards

Zoe Richards

The New Zealand lineup playing NCAA Division II Women’s basketball in 2019/20 is led by 2019 Tall Fern Zoe Richards.

Richards, who also played for Otago Gold Rush in the 2019 Womens Basketball Championship (WBC) alongside sister Brittany, is in her final year at Eckerd College, Florida


Georgia Perrott-Hunt (Tiffin University)

Season 18/19 Games 28, Starts 4, Points 142 (5.1ppg), Rebounds 90 (3.2rpg)

The Former Westlake Girls small forward spent two years at Junior College prior to Tiffin.

The older sister of Tall Black Kruz Perrott-Hunt graduated from North Dakota State College of Science in 2018.

Played all 28 games for Tiffin last season.

Georgia P-H

Georgia Perrott-Hunt

Brittany Richards (University of Alaska Fairbanks)

Season 18/19 Games 22, Points 52 (2.4ppg), Rebounds 48 (2.2rpg)

Scored a career best 14 points v Western Oregon last season.

Brittany and twin sister Zoe spent a season at Gillette College after leaving St Hilda’s Collegiate, Dunedin.

Zoe Richards (Eckerd College)

Season 18/19 Games 32, Points 341 (10.7ppg), Rebounds 127 (4.0rpg)

Last season was second on the team in scoring (10.7ppg) and led the Tritons in field goal percentage (55.0%). Named to the Sunshine State Conference All-Tournament team.

Zoe and twin sister Brittany spent a season at Gillette College after leaving St Hilda’s Collegiate, Dunedin.

Made her Tall Ferns debut against Japan in 2019



Charlotte Armstrong (Barry University, Miami)

Season 18/19 Games 23, Starts 0, Points 54 (2.3ppg), Rebounds 79 (3.4rpg)

The versatile forward out of Epsom Girls Grammar can expect more opportunities in her Junior year. Was second on the Buccaneers shot blocking list last season with 23 including a career best 7 v Florida.

Eva Langton (Texas A&M International)

Prior to Texas A&M the Taranaki Thunder guard attended Western Nebraska Community College. Schooled at St Mary’s Diocesan, Stratford.

Zarya Poulava (University of Mount Olive)

Season 18/19 Games 15, Starts 1, Points 36 (2.4ppg), Rebounds 29 (1.9rpg)

The Hamilton Girls High alumni attended Missouri Western State University for one year prior to Mount Olive.



Chanel Brodeur-Muir (St Thomas Aquinas College)

Season 18/19 Games 18, Starts 0, Points 25 (1.4ppg)

Brodeur-Muir finished high school at Westlake Girls having previously attended Kristin School.

Tanaka Gapare (Tuskegee University, Alabama)

Played at Odessa Community College in her freshman year after graduating from Samuel Marsden High School.

Played for the 3×3 Tall Ferns at the 2019 FIBA Asia Cup in China.

Tanaka Gapare

Tanaka Gapare in action for Tall Fern 3×3 team


Madison Hema (Washburn University)

Attended Castle View High School Colorado, dad Matt is a Kiwi who evidently played for the Otago Nuggets.

Played for New Zealand at the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup in Belarus.

Tessa Talo-Tomokino (Northeastern State University)

Graduated from Mt Albert Grammar School.

Played for New Zealand at the 2018 FIBA Asia Cup in India.


In addition to ten NCAA Division II Women playing in the States Olivia Bell is attending an NAIA Division I college.

Olivia Bell (Peru State College)

Peru State College, Nebraska play National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division I basketball.

The former Westlake Girls forward has spent the last two years at North Dakota State College of Science.

Kiwis in college preview – NCAA Division I Men



Twenty New Zealand men are preparing for the upcoming  NCAA Division I basketball season. This number is up on last season when 17 Kiwis were on Div I scholarships and 33% more than the 15 that played the 2017/18 season.

Below we take a quick look at the twenty players that include Isaac Letoa, Dan Fotu, Kruz Perrott-Hunt, Sam Timmins and Izayah Mauriahooho-Le’afa who have all played for the Tall Blacks.


Matt Freeman (UC Santa Barbara)

Season 18/19 Games 32, Starts 0, Points 102 (3.3ppg), Rebounds 47 (1.5rpg)

Freeman has transferred from the University of Oklahoma, after playing 84 games for the Sooners, to UC Santa Barbara for his senior season where it is expected he will enjoy greater court time.

Freeman is one of five former Westlake Boys High School players on NCAA Division I scholarships.

Izayah Mauriahooho-Le’afa (Sacramento State University)

Season 18/19 Games 30, Starts 26, Points 265 (8.8ppg), Rebounds 90 (3.0rpg), Assists 78 (2.6apg)

The former St Pat’s, Wellington point guard enters his senior season with 89 games under his belt for the Hornets. Last season he was a finalist for the Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Scored in double figures 11 times and 15+ on 8 occasions.

Played for the Tall Blacks as a 16-year old back in 2013.

Jackson Stent(Houston Baptist University)

Season 18/19 Games 29, Starts 0, Points 313 (3.1ppg), Rebounds 39 (1.3rpg)

After leaving Middleton Grange School Stent spent two years at Casper College. Last season was his first at Houston Baptist University where he played 29 games scoring a career high 12 points against Arlington Baptist.

Sam Timmins (University of Washington)

Season 18/19 Games 36, Starts 7, Points 265 (8.8ppg), Rebounds 78 (2.2rpg)

The former Otago Boys High School centre has made 101 appearances for the Huskies although his minutes last season (10.4mpg) were well down on 2017/18 when he logged 18 minutes per game.

Played as recently as 2017 for the Tall Blacks playing 12 internationals in total.

Yanni Wetzell (San Diego State University)

Season 18/19 Games 32, Starts 10, Points 190 (5.9ppg), Rebounds 122 (3.8rpg)

After playing all 32 games for Vanderbilt University last season Wetzell has transferred to San Diego State for his senior year. Recorded eight double figure scores last year including two 15 point hauls.

Played two years NCAA Division II at St Mary’s University, Texas before his season at Vanderbilt.



 Yuat Alok (University of Central Florida)

Season 18/19 Games 10, Starts 0, Points 33 (3.3ppg), Rebounds 25 (2.5rpg)

Alok has had a few moves since his time at Rangitoto College.  His latest is a shift to Central Florida after ending his stay at TCU in mid-season earlier this year following a broken hand. Prior to that he had been a highly touted prospect at Chipola Junior College where at one stage he was rated the #3 prospect by

Isaac Letoa (Dartmouth College)

Season 18/19 Games 10, Starts 0, Points 14 (1.4ppg), Rebounds 9 (0.9rpg)

The only Kiwi male at an Ivy League university Letoa played for the Tall Blacks as recently as 2018. He has received limited opportunities at Dartmouth playing just 26 games in two seasons to date.

Originally from Wellington Letoa was a standout point guard at Westlake Boys High.

Sam W

Sam Waardenburg (University of Miami)

Season 18/19 Games 32, Starts 11, Points 170 (5.3ppg), Rebounds 113 (3.5rpg), Assists 38 (1.2apg)

The rangy forward has prospered in his first two years with the Hurricanes in the tough ACC Conference playing a total of 53 games averaging 21 minutes per appearance. Played all 32 games last season scoring a career high 14 points in 37 minutes at Penn.

One of three ex Rangitoto College players in Men’s NCAA Division I basketball.



Tobias Cameron

 Flynn Cameron (DePaul University)

Season 18/19 Games 28, Starts 0, Points 5.1 (1.8ppg), Rebounds 30 (1.1rpg), Assists 21

Was a member of the Junior Tall Blacks team at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup in Greece.

Played 28 games for the Blue Demons in his freshman year.

Younger brother of Tobias Cameron.

 Tobias Cameron (Abilene Christian University)

Season 18/19 Games 23, Starts 0, Points 19 (0.8ppg), Rebounds 18 (0.8rpg)

The older of the Cameron brothers, father Cameron is Kiwi basketball legend Pero Cameron.

Will be looking to gain more court time for the Wildcats in his second season with after averaging just under four minutes per game in 2018/19.

Quinn Clinton (St Mary’s College, California)

Season 18/19 Games 22, Starts 0, Points 21 (1.0ppg)


The former Christchurch Boys High and New Zealand age-group star got little opportunity for the Gaels last season. Hopefully more to come from the sweet shooting guard in 2019/20.

Takiula Fahrensohn (University of Portland)

Season 18/19 Games 15, Starts 0, Points 19 (1.3ppg)

Out of Auckland Grammar School, Portland Assistant Coach Ben Johnson is anticipating a good season from the former Junior Tall Black. “Taki has put on a few pounds and can really shoot the ball.”

Dan Fotu (St Mary’s College, California)

Season 18/19 Games 34, Starts 4, Points 96 (2.8ppg), Rebounds 88 (2.6rpg)

Did well in his first season appearing in all 34 games for the Gaels and made the most starts for a St Mary’s freshman since 2010/11. Scored a season high 16 points against Cal Berkeley.

The former Rangitoto College wing made his Tall Blacks debut in 2018.

Callum McRae (University of California, Riverside)

Season 18/19 Games 32, Starts 17, Points 243 (7.6ppg), Rebounds 154 (4.8rpg)

The former Palmerston North Boys High centre enjoyed an outstanding freshman season for the Highlanders. McRae led the team in rebounds (4.8 per game) and field goal percentage (55.4%).

Scored a career high 20 points and corralled a career best 14 rebounds against  CSUN in February – produced four double-double performances during the season.

Angus McWilliam (University of California, Riverside)

Season 18/19 Games 2, Starts 0, Points 0, Rebounds 3 (1.5rpg)

The former Middleton Grange High School and Junior Tall Black forward has transferred from TCU and in accordance with NCAA rules will redshirt the 2019/20 season.

Played for the Junior Tall Blacks at the 2017 FIBA World Cup.



De geest

 Max de Geest (Long Beach State University)

de Geest spent his final high school years at Christ’s College, Christchurch after movingfrom Waitaki Boys High in Year 11.

He was a Breakers Development Player on 2018/19 and a member of the Junior Tall Blacks team at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup in Greece. In addition played in Buenos Aires at the Youth Olympic Games.

James Moors (Colorado State University)

A Westlake Boys High School standout. Was a member of the Junior Tall Blacks team at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup in Greece and also played in Buenos Aires at the Youth Olympic Games.

 Kruz Perrott-Hunt (University of South Dakota)

 The former Rosmini College guardwas a Breakers Development Player on 2018/19 and a member of the Junior Tall Blacks team at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup in Greece.

Made his Tall Blacks debut against Jordan in the Asia World Cup Qualifier in 2018.

Anzac Rissetto (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

Rissetto played his last two high school years at Auckland Grammar School. Represented New Zealand at the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup in Argentina where the starting centre averaged 6.3 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. Recruited to Charlotte by NZU17 Head Coach Aaron Fearne.

Harrison Young (Texas Christian University)

After completing his studies at Kings College, Auckland he spent two years at Impact Academy in Sarasota, Florida.

The least heralded of the New Zealand Division I players, Young played representative basketball for Auckland during his time at Kings.

Kiwis in College Preview – NCAA Div 1 Women

Tera Reed

The 2019/20 American collegiate season begins shortly an in the first of a number of previews we take a look at the twenty-one New Zealand women that are preparing for the Women’s NCAA Division I basketball season. This number is slightly down on last season when 24 Kiwis were on Division I scholarships, the same number as 2017/18.

Below we take a brief look at the accomplishments of the 21 players, most of whom have played age-group basketball for New Zealand. In the cases of Krystal Leger-Walker, Katelin Noyer, Zara Jillings, Akiene Tera-Reed and Amy West they have also played for the Tall Ferns.


Tegan Graham (Colgate University)

Season 18/19 Games 29, Starts 17, Points 222 (7.7ppg), Rebounds 69 (2.4rpg), Assists 63 (2.2apg)

Graham finished the season fourth on the Raiders (12-17) scoring list and third in the assists column. The former Wellington Girls College guard scored a career high 24 points against Army West Point in February – the start of a three-game spell where she scored 20 points or more.

Graham has totaled 425 career points in 68 appearances for Colgate to date.

Krystal Leger-Walker (Washington State University)

Season 18/19 at Northern Colorado. Games 27, Starts 24, Points 240 (8.9ppg), Rebounds 125 (4.6rpg), Assists 148 (5.5apg), Steals 53 (2.0spg)

Having transferred from the University of Northern Colorado Bears to Washington State University Leger-Walker will be obliged to sit out the 2019-20 season in accordance with NCAA rules.

Last season, averaging 37 minutes per game, Leger-Walker was fourth in scoring for the Bears with 240 points. In addition she led the Big Sky Conference in assists averaging 5.5 per game and ranked 5thin steals with 2 per game.

The 2016 Tall Fern played 90 career games for the Bears amassing 564 points and 378 assists. The 21-11 Bears fell at the semi-final stage of the Big Sky Conference Tournament after finishing runners-up in the regular season.

Kayla Manuirirangi (Tulane University)

Season 18/19 Games 30, Starts 20, Points 181 (6.0ppg), Rebounds 50 (1.7rpg), Assists 42 (1.4apg)

The former New Plymouth Girls High standout played all 30 games for the Greenwave finishing fourth in scoring with 181 points, making a season best 17 points against SMU in January. The combo guard has played 88 games for Tulane accumulating 461 career points.

Tulane finished last season with a 15-15 record but a disappointing 5-11 in the American Conference.

Katelin Noyer (Fresno State University)

Season 18/19 Games 10, Starts 1 Points 20 (2.0ppg)

Noyer, the former Westlake Girls forward endured a frustrating, injury ravaged, final year with the Bulldogs.

The 2016 Tall Fern picked up a foot injury on Fresno’s pre-season European tour necessitating several weeks in a moon boot recovering from surgery. She returned for the final ten games of the season but didn’t receive much love from the coach averaging just six minutes per game.

Shalae Salmon (Brigham Young University)

Season 18/19 Games 29, Starts 22, Points 163 (5.6.0ppg), Rebounds 120 (4.1rpg)

Salmon was a key member of the Cougars that won the West Coast Conference Championship beating No 1 seed Gonzaga in the final. The victory took them to the NCAA Tournament where they were defeated in the second round.

Scored a career high 19 points against California Baptist in November. Also in November claimed 10 rebounds against Utah Valley although her career high sits at 17 achieved 12 months earlier.

In her BYU career the former Wellington Girls College forward has accumulated 362 points, 336 rebounds and 59 blocks.

Khaedin Taito (Brigham Young University)

Season 18/19 Games 3

Taito has had an injury plagued two years at BYU. After redshirting in 2016-17 Taito has played just seven games since, three of them this season.



McKenna Dale (Brown University)

Season 18/19 DNP

 Dale unfortunately missed all of last season due to an ACL injury.

Attended Edwin O Smith High School, Connecticut where Dale was also an accomplished swimmer. Represented the Junior Tall Ferns in 2016.

Heremaia v reed

Kendell Heremaia (Fordham University)

Season 18/19 Games 34, Starts 33, Points 275 (8.1ppg), Rebounds 178 (5.2rpg), Assists 80 (2.4apg).

Heremaia made every post a winner in her second year at Fordham, starting in all but one of Fordham’s games in a season that would see them claim their first Atlantic 10 Championship.

She scored a career high 17 points against Texas in November and pulled down a career best 16 rebounds against St Louis in January. The former St Peter’s, Cambridge dynamo was top 10 in the conference three-point shooting, scoring at 35%.

Joellen How (Wagner College)

Season 18/19 Games 30, Starts 4, Points 84 (2.8ppg), Rebounds 33 (1.1rpg), Assists 30 (1.0apg).

 The former New Plymouth Girls High guard played all 30 games for the Seahawks last season and dished a career high 7 assists against Central Connecticut.

Named to the Northeast Conference Academic Honours Roll in 2018 and 2019.

Zara Jillings (Fordham University)

Season 18/19 Games 34, Starts 4, Points 110 (3.2ppg), Rebounds 91 (2.7rpg), Assists 50 (1.5apg).

 Jillings, the former Westlake Girls guard played all 34 games for the Ramsin a season that saw them claim their first Atlantic 10 Championship.

Played a key role coming off the bench recording the second best field goal percentage on the team (47%) and also made 50 assists.

A member of the Tall Ferns team that won bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

 Michelle Nicholls (University of Purdue, Fort Wayne)

Season 18/19 Games 31, Starts 15, Points 230 (7.4ppg), Rebounds 86 (2.8rpg), Assists 73 (2.4apg).

Nicholls has transferred to Purdue, Fort Wayne after two years at La Salle University.

Played all 31 games for La Salle last season scoring ten or more points on five occasions including a career high 23 points against Rhode Island.

Akiene-Tera Reed (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Season 18/19 Games 31, Starts 31, Points 388 (12.5ppg), Rebounds 169 (5.8rpg), Assists 70 (2.3apg).

Started all 31 games for VCU who went all the way to the Atlantic 10 Championship Final. Reed earned First Team All-Atlantic 10 honours after leading the VCU scoring for a second consecutive season. Finished top ten in the conference from the foul line (79%).

Made her Tall Ferns debut at the William Jones Cup in 2017.


aimee book

Amiee Book (California State University Fullerton)

Season 18/19 Games 29, Starts 7, Points 282 (9.7), Rebounds 124 (4.3rpg), Assists 27 (0.9apg).

After an outstanding freshman season Book was named Big West Conference Sixth Player of the Year. Her 43.2% three-point shooting led the Titans and was the third best three-point shooting season in programme history. Scored a career high 18 points v UC Davis.

 Book attended Waimea College in Nelson before moving to Middleton Grange in Christchurch.

Jade Kirisome (St Mary’s, California)

Season 18/19 Games 33, Starts 1, Points 133 (4.0), Rebounds 58 (1.8rpg), Assists 20 (0.6apg).

Played all 33 games for Furnham University in her freshman season but then transferred to St Mary’s.

Schooled at Brisbane State High School and played for New Zealand at the 2017 FIBA U17 Oceania Championships.

Tsubasa Nisbett (Georgia Southern University)

Season 18/19 Games 13, Starts 0, Rebounds 9, Assists 2.

 The ex-Burnside High School forward had a disrupted freshman year playing just the 13 games for the Eagles.

Named on the Sun Belt Conference Academic Commissioner’s List.

 Pareunora Pene (University of Tennessee Chattanooga)

Season 18/19 Games 11, Starts 0, Points 11, Assists 3.

 The former Rotorua Girls High standout played 11 games in her freshman season for the Mocs and will be aiming for increased court time in her second season.

 Sariah Penese (University of Maryland Baltimore)

Season 18/19 Games 22, Starts 5, Points 27 (1.3), Rebounds 29 (1.8rpg), Assists 16 (0.7apg).

Captained St Mary’s College, Wellington to the Schick Championship title in 2017.  Penese played 22 games last season for the Retrievers and had a season high 5 points against Albany.

 Amy West (St Mary’s College, California)

Season 18/19 Games 20, Starts 0, Points 25 (1.3), Rebounds 23 (1.2rpg), Blocks 5.

West, who made her Tall Ferns debut earlier this year at the William Jones Cup will, in accordance with NCAA regulations, redshirt the 2019-20 season after transferring from Liberty University where she spent her freshman year.

The Palmerston North Girls High forward played 20 games for Liberty Flames last season.



 Tara Manumaleuga (University of Arizona in Tucson)

 Attended Hillcrest Christian College in Queensland. Played for New Zealand at the 2018 FIBA World Cup in Belarus.

Kaylee Smiler (BYU)

 Smiler attended Melville High School in Hamilton and played on a number of Waikato championship winning teams. Redshirted at BYU during the 2018/19 season.

Charlotte Whittaker (University of Colorado)

 As a 16 year old Whittaker played for New Zealand Select against China B and has played for a number of New Zealand age-group teams.She averaged 13.8ppg for the Junior Tall Ferns at the Asia Cup in India last year.The 1.90m centre attended St Andrew’s College, Christchurch.

charlotte whittaker

Jack Salt and Virginia make history


Jack Salt and Virginia University Cavaliers have made history after advancing to the NCAA Championship game, defeating Auburn 63-62 in a dramatic semi-final.

Virginia have made the championship game for the first time and Salt has made a little bit of New Zealand sporting history for himself.

Salt had become only the second Kiwi after Kirk Penney (Wisconsin in 1999-2000 season) to play at the NCAA Men’s Division I Tournament Final Four but the victory means he now becomes the first New Zealander to play in a National Championship game (Tuesday 1.20pm NZT).

The Cavs had led by double figures late in the second half but needed three made free-throws from Kyle Guy with 0.6 of a second to play after the sophomore guard was fouled attempting a triple from the corner, to clinch the victory.

Auburn enjoyed a 14-0 run to lead 61-57 with 17 seconds to go. Guy hit an off balance three with 7.4 to play – Virginia fouled quickly to send Auburn to the line where it hit one from two to lead 62-60.

Following an Auburn foul the resulting in-bounds pass found Guy who launched the potential game winning three-point attempt. The shot hit the ring and bounced away but he was clearly fouled in attempting the shot and appeared to have ice in his veins as he sunk all three resulting freebies.

Salt had a relatively quiet afternoon pulling down a couple of rebounds in 9 minutes of action. That will matter little as he now prepares, with his teammates, for the biggest game in their relatively short careers, for many of the players the biggest game they will ever play in. Virginia will take on Texas Tech in the final after they beat Michigan State 61-51 in the other semi-final.

One incredible statistic for Kiwis to get their heads around was that the crowd at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis was just under 72,000 – not bad for a game of college basketball. Expect there to be as many for the final on Tuesday.