Category Archives: College Hoops

Zack Te Puni to be tutored by outstanding NCAA coach


He may not be a household name in New Zealand but Brian Beaury is one of the most experienced and respected coaches in American NCAA basketball.

During is thirty odd years at The College of Saint Rose the 56-year-old mentor has compiled a 622-316 (.663) career record with the Golden Knights and has earned Coach of the Year plaudits on five separate occasions. Beaury became just the ninth active NCAA Division II head coach to reach the 600-win plateau early last season and he is looking forward to working with former Harbour and Rangitoto College standout Zack Te Puni.

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Katie Diakhaby headed to Maryville University

2016 Junior Tall Fern Katie Diakhaby is headed to Maryville University, St Louis to further her basketball and academic career.

After completing a two-year stint at Northeastern Junior College Diakhaby is about to test herself in the more competitive environment of NCAA college hoops.

I recently chatted to the former Orewa College and Harbour standout about her expectations ahead of linking with her new teammates at Maryville.

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Georgia Perrott-Hunt joins Tiffin University Dragons

Former Westlake Girls High School and North Harbour standout Georgia Perrott-Hunt is the latest in an ever increasing list of Kiwis to be offered an NCAA basketball scholarship.

A New Zealand Under 18 representative back in 2015, Georgia has headed to Tiffin University to play NCAA Division II basketball under first year head coach Jessie Ivey. Known as the Dragons the team finished 9-19 last season in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference but in the coming season will debut in the Great Midwest Athletics Conference.

Coach Ivey is looking forward to Georgia joining the Dragons.

“I am so excited we were able to sign such a talented player and an even better person in Georgia Perrott-Hunt. She will be a huge part of our high-scoring offense as she is able to spread the floor with her outside shot and create mismatches with her size. She has played for a great Coach in Thomas Dryburgh at NDSCS and she will make an immediate impact for the Dragons.”

Perrott-Hunt has spent the last two years in Junior College at North Dakota State College of Science but is relishing the chance to play NCAA Division II basketball.

“I have been looking for an opportunity to challenge myself at a higher playing level since graduating earlier in the year. I had a great time at North Dakota where we won back-to-back regional tournaments but heading to Tiffin to play for the Dragons will extend my game further.

“Coach Ivey has been in regular contact with me and I can’t wait to link up with my new teammates and the Dragons coaching staff.

“I had a couple of offers on the table but decided on Tiffin for a number of reasons. Not only was I impressed with the Dragons basketball programme, where I will be able to play a part as they enter a new conference, but I also like the small town vibe that the university offers. In addition my studies are taking me down a science route and I will be able to continue that path for the next two years,” Georgia added.

Tom Higgins latest Kiwi to commit to an NCAA Div II college

It’s difficult to keep tabs on all the Kiwis attending college in the States and those we pay closest attention to are invariably the NCAA Division I players.

However with the ever-growing number of New Zealand players heading to Division Two schools interest in that level of the college game is bound to increase.

The announcement this week that Tom Higgins, who has been training with the Mainland Eagles Academy since leaving Auckland Grammar School last year, is headed to Texas A&M International next month the interest in the Heartland Conference which will feature four Kiwis next college season has been heightened.

In addition to Higgins two other freshmen, Will Heather and Oscar Oswald, will be playing in the Heartland Conference as will Nikau McCullough.

Higgins will head to Texas to play for the Dustdevils following the Fiba U18 Asia Cup in Thailand early next month. Also on international duty is former Palmerston North Boys High standout Oscar Oswald who will head to St Edwards University, Austin in August.

The third freshman is William Heather – the former Rosmini College forward will suit up for Dallas Baptist University Patriots the reigning Heartland Conference regular season champions. Heather and Higgins will come face to face early in the conference season, the Patriots entertaining the Dustdevils at the Burg Centre in their conference home opener on December 1st.

Waikato guard McCullough is about to embark on his third year at St Mary’s University, Texas. McCullough was a member of the New Zealand 3×3 team that won gold at the 2015 Fiba U18 World Cup in Hungary. In addition to the former St John’s College star that team comprised of Tai Wynyard, Sam Timmins and Matt Freeman.

Kiwi men attending NCAA Division II Universities for the 2018-2019 collegiate season:


Mandela Baledrokadroka Davis & Elkins College
Jayden Bezzant Northwest Nazarene University
Denhym Brooke University of Hawaii at Hilo
Isaac Davidson Sonoma State University
Wilfred Dickson South Dakota School of Mines & Tech
Logan Elers South Dakota School of Mines & Tech
William Heather Dallas Baptist University
Tom Higgins Texas A&M International
Liam McRae Minot State University
Nikau McCullough St Mary’s University Texas
Oscar Oswald St Edwards University
Tom Power University of Hawaii at Hilo
William Raisbeck Notre Dame College
Alex Talma Biola University
Zack Te Puni College of Saint Rose
Haize Walker Concordia University-Portland
Brandon Watkins Mars Hill University

Stella Beck swaps Gaels for Flames

SMC Women's Basketball vs Gonzags

Stella Beck, having recently completed a four-year scholarship at St Mary’s College, California, has begun her post university basketball career at Townsville Flames playing alongside Tall Fern Micaela Cocks.

Last weekend and in her third outing for the Queensland Basketball League leaders she scored 8 points (4/8FG) and dished 4 assists in the 98-82 win against Ipswich Force.

Beck enjoyed a stellar (excuse the pun) career at St Mary’s where back in April she was named first team All-West Coast Conference for the second time in her career after leading the Gaels in scoring, steals and free-throw shooting in her final collegiate season. She was also named to the WCC All-Academic First Team for the third time in her career. Beck finished her career 10th on the all-time scoring list at Saint Mary’s with 1,439 career points. She joined the 1,000 career points club on November 24, 2017 against UC Santa Barbara, becoming the 21st Gael to accomplish the feat. She had 10 games with at least 20 points, including a career-high 31 points versus Pacific back in January.

The Flames have a 9 win and 1 loss record and will next Friday entertain Gladstone Port City Power. Gladstone also has a couple of Kiwis in their lineup with Ashleigh Kelman-Poto and Milomilo Nanai two of their better performers – both averaging double figure points scoring.

A chat with Yanni Wetzell


YanniA product of the Westlake Boys and Harbour Basketball programmes Yanni Wetzell shared some thoughts on college basketball and his Tall Blacks aspirations.

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Will Heather commits to Dallas Baptist



William Heather is the latest Kiwi to be offered a basketball scholarship in the USA.

The former Rosmini College and Hastings Boys High student has committed to Dallas Baptist University. DBU, known as the Patriots, are an NCAA Division II university and play in the Heartland Conference.

The Patriots were Heartland Conference champions in both 2018 and 2016 and beaten finalists in 2017.

The Heartland Conference already has a strong Kiwi link:

Former Westlake Boys player Yanni Wetzell went to St Mary’s Texas before transferring to Vanderbilt.

Waikato guard Nikau McCullough is a sophomore – also at St Mary’s

Oscar Oswald from Palmerston North Boys will begin his scholarship at St Edwards University at the same time as Will.

Originally from the Hawkes Bay, Heather moved to Auckland in 2015 to further his basketball playing opportunities.

Last year he was a key member of the Rosmini College Premier Basketball team that won the Secondary Schools National Championship.

He scored 15 points in the final against defending champions Rangitoto College and a team high 25 points in the semi-final win against Christ’s College.

Heather was also a member of the New Zealand team that finished fourth at the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup in Chengdu, China last year.

Heather is delighted at the prospect of heading to Dallas later in the year.

“It’s been a dream of mine to play college basketball in the States since I was in intermediate school.

“So many people have helped me achieve this dream. Not only my family, who have all made sacrifices for me, but also the various coaches along the way including Matt Lacey, Curtis Wooten and my older brothers Sonny and Geoff, and all of my representative coaches.

“Many people in the Rosmini College community have also supported me academically, financially and spiritually. I can’t thank them enough for what they have done for a young guy from the Hawkes Bay during the last three years.

“Finally a big thanks to Harbour Basketball and Hawkes Bay Basketball for giving me the opportunities to further my basketball development.

“I’m really looking forward to heading to DBU to meet up with the team and the coaching staff,” he added.

Heather is believed to be the first Rosmini College student to gain an NCAA college basketball scholarship.

Rosmini Head Coach Matt Lacey is delighted that William is able to fulfill his long held desire to play NCAA college basketball.

“William has worked hard on all aspects of his game since arriving at Rosmini College early in 2015.

“The chance to play at DBU is an opportunity for William to showcase the skills that he is blessed with. He has great touch and footwork and possesses an inside game that will flourish under Head Coach Blake Flickner and his staff at DBU.

“Most importantly William is a good person and teammate that wants to do well and continually strives to get better, attributes that I believe will serve him well with the Patriots.

We at Rosmini College will be following his progress closely and I sincerely hope he is not the last student from our school to join the DBU men’s basketball programme.”

Harbour college players – seven of the best



Seven former Harbour men played college basketball in the States during the recently completed 2017/18 season.

Here we take a look at how they performed.

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Harbour women excel – end of season report


Tera ReedIt has been a good season for the Harbour players in American collegiate basketball during the 2017-18 season.

Here is the end of season report.

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Curtain comes down on US college season for Harbour Reps

zara jillings

It’s all over for the last of the Harbour reps playing at end of season college tournaments in the USA. However there is a silver lining for Zara Jillings.

Also a bit of Harbour Breeze news.

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