Category Archives: College Hoops

Kiwis in Men’s Division I colleges take to the court



Yuat Alok (35) in action for TCU

In a week when news has emerged that Kruz Perrot Hunt (South Dakota) and Anzac Rissetto (North Carolina Charlotte) have committed to Division I colleges next season many of the current crop of Div 1 players have seen action this week. To be more accurate eleven of the sixteen Kiwis playing in top flight of college basketball have hit the pine in the last couple of days.

Starting centre Jack Salt was only required for 19 minutes by Virginia University as the Cavaliers breezed past Towson 73-42. The Tall Blacks big man contributed 3 points, 3 rebounds and a block for the Cavs, ranked 5th in the NCAA Division I pre-season polls.

Ranked (25th) in the preseason for the first time since 2011, the Washington Huskies overcame a sluggish start to beat Western Kentucky 73-55. Another player to have worn the Tall Blacks singlet in recent times, Sam Timmins, came up with 6 rebounds and 4 points for the Huskies.

Placed five spots above Washington are Texas Christian University. Yuat Alok scored 11 points in his first outing for the Horned Frogs as they edged past CSU Bakersfield 66-61. In front of almost 7,000 fans the former Rangitoto College big man also added 6 rebounds and a block in a solid 25 minutes of action.

Point guard Isaac Letoa played 8 minutes for Dartmouth Big Green as they rampaged past Newbury College 114-39. The Tall Blacks guard produced 4 assists in that time as well as a couple of rebounds.

Tobias Cameron scored his first basket in Wildcats colours as Abilene Christian thumped Arlington Baptist 107-54. Cameron also snared 5 rebounds.

Brother Flynn played 7 minutes for De Paul Blue Demons making one of two shots and adding 4 rebounds.

Another debutant scorer was Manawatu big man Callum McRae who ended with 4 points and 6 rebounds in his first outing for University of California Riverside beaten 72-59 by Oregon State.

Also playing their first game were Dan Fotu and Quinn Clinton – both came off the bench in the closing minutes for St Mary’s College California Gaels in the 87-65 win against McNeese State. Both managed to convert their only three-point attempt inside the last two minutes of the game – Clinton’s effort came courtesy of a Fotu assist.

A Cantabrian like Clinton, Jackson Stent also connected from long range as Houston Baptist fell 90-60 to Arizona. Stent finished with one from three triples but fouled out in 16 minutes.

In his third outing of the season for the University of Portland Taki Fahrenson scored his first points for the Pirates in a high scoring 111-103 victory against Multnomah.


Kruz to be a Coyote

Schick Basketball 2018 Finals - Saturday_Digital-104.jpg

It’s been a good week for Rosmini College combo-guard Kruz Perrott-Hunt.

Perrott-Hunt was named in Paul Henare’s 14-man Tall Blacks squad on Wednesday and today revealed he has become the latest young Kiwi to secure an NCAA Division I University basketball scholarship.


Kruz - SD Uni.JPG

The 17 year-old has committed to the University of South Dakota (USD) and will begin his college career with the Coyotes in the 2019-20 season.

It’s been a hectic few days for Perrott-Hunt who squeezed in a whirlwind visit to USD last weekend before beginning his NCEA exams this week.

Full story here

Kiwi women in action as American college season begins


Shalae in Blue

Double-double for Shalae Salmon

The waiting is over – the US college season is underway and in this post we take a look at how a number of Kiwi women playing NCAA Division I hoops have fared in the first days of the season.

Tera Reed started off from where she finished last season with a double-figure contribution as Virginia Commonwealth proved far too good for William & Mary winning 72-55. The Tall Ferns swingman scored 11 points on 4 from 9 shooting.

Krystal Leger-Walker filled up the stats sheet for Northern Colorado Bears as they lost 77-69 to local rivals Colorado. Leger Walker filled the stats line with 12 points (6/10FG), five rebounds, three assists and three steals but did also had 5 turnovers.

Shalae Salmon was in good form for Brigham Young University as the Cougars eased to an 83-56 home win against Dixie State – the BYU forward produced a 12 points (4/7FG) and 10 rebounds double-double. Kaylee Smiler didn’t make any points but did dish an assist in her first appearance for the Cougars.

Sophmore Michelle Nicholls enjoyed her first start for La Salle Explorers grabbing 7 rebounds to go along with 9 points in a low scoring 57-54 loss to Howard University.

Wellington College alumni Tegan Graham scored 7 points and dished 5 dimes for Colgate University in their 80-61 defeat by Yale.

Sophmore guard Joellen How distributed a team high 5 assists to match 5 points for Wagner College but the Seahawks were drowned 95-40 by Seton Hall. How will lineup against two former Junior Tall Ferns teammates at the weekend when Wagner head to the Bronx to take on Zara Jillings and Kendell Heremaia at Fordham University.

Freshman Sariah Penese was handed a starting guard spot for Maryland Baltimore Retrievers in their 65-51 win against Gettysburg. She didn’t nail any points but did nab 4 rebounds an assist and a steal in 19 minutes of action.

News has come through that McKenna Dale incurred an ACL injury during pre-season training at Brown University. Unfortunately the injury is season ending and Dale, who will redshirt her sophomore year, has begun rehabilitation in order to be fully fit for the 2019-20 season.

We wish her well.

Kiwi men gearing up for new college season

Sam Timmins.JPG

In a week when Anzac Rissetto became the latest Kiwi to commit to an NCAA Division 1 university – he will head to University North Carolina Charlotte in 2019 – those New Zealander’s already on scholarships in the States are gearing up for the new season beginning this week.

A few Kiwis have featured in pre season games in the last couple of days.

Tall Black Sam Timmins came up with 9 rebounds for the University of Washington Huskies in their 70-61 victory over Seattle Pacific. The former Otago Boys High big man also contributed 6 points and a block.

The Huskies are ranked 25th in the ESPN Pre-Season polls – its first serious outing is next Friday (NZT) against Western Kentucky.

Ex Westlake Boys forward Matt Freeman scored 8 points, secured 4 rebounds and came up with a block as Oklahoma Sooners accounted for Pittsburg State on Friday cruising to a 92-58 win.

The University of Miami Hurricanes blew past Barry University 91-61. Sam Waardenburg started for the Hurricanes but was limited to just one shot (unsuccessful) in 21 minutes of play. The sophomore forward came up with a rebound, block and steal in front of 5,500 fans at the Watsco Centre.

Flynn Cameron debuted for De Paul Blue Demons in the 72-65 win against Rockhurst. The Junior Tall Black point guard came off the bench for five minutes of action claiming just the solitary rebound.

More reports in the pipeline as we follow the fortunes of the 40 Kiwis on NCAA Division I scholarships.

Kiwis feature in college pre-season action

The 2018/19 American college basketball season begins in earnest in the coming days. Ahead of a deluge of action a few Kiwis have featured in pre season games this week for their NCAA Division I colleges.

Kayla Manirirangi go her season off to a flyer as Tulane University beat Loyola-New Orleans 80-49 on Thursday.

The Taranaki native and 2017 Tall Ferns triallist, in her third year at Tulane, dropped 20 points on 8 from 10 shooting and added 8 assists for good measure for the Green Wave.

One player who has pulled on the Tall Ferns singlet is Krystal Leger-Walker. The sophomore guard also made a strong start to the season with 6 points (4/6FG), 5 rebounds and 6 dimes. Picking KL-W will dish more dimes than any other Kiwi college player this season.

As last season the Fordham University Rams have three Kiwis in its lineup and all contributed to a first up win against New York Institute of Technology.

The Rams won 75-54 with Mary Goulding close to a double-double (8 points and 11 rebounds), Kendell Heremaia contributing 6 points and 3 rebounds and Zara Jillings remaining scoreless but dishing 2 assists to accompany 5 rebounds.

The first game is in the book for Book. Freshman Aimee Book came off the bench for California State University Fullerton as the Titans beat Concordia 69-44. Book was one of only three Titans to make a three and finished with 5 points (2/4FG) and a rebound.

Cantabrian Esra McGoldrick also made her NCAA Division I debut. North Carolina State Wolfpack comfortably beat Anderson University 83-57 with McGoldrick securing an offensive rebound and a steal in 8 minutes of court time.

We will have more news next week when most of the Kiwi college players are in action.

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.