Category Archives: Kiwi’s Abroad

Double figure outings for Harmon, Fotu and the Webster brothers

Tai Webster copy

It was largely a successful weekend for our Tall Ferns and Tall Blacks internationals playing overseas.

The German based pair Tai Webster and Isaac Fotu both contributed strongly as their respective club’s registered wins.

Webster scored a game high 21 points (7/11FG), dished 6 assists and reeled in 5 rebounds as Frankfurt Skyliners beat Bremerhaven 95-69. The Skyliners are fifth on the Bundesliga ladder with an 8-4 record.

One win back are Ratiopharm Ulm after an 84-70 win at Giessen 46ers. Fotu was in good form for Ulm scoring 17 points on 8 from 11 shooting. The power forward added 6 rebounds a steal and a block in just 20 minutes of action.

Corey Webster also scored in double figures in Israel but his 15 points (5/9FG) were not enough to save Ironi Nahariya from going down 72-69 against Ironi Nes-Ziona. The defeat sees Nahariya slip to fourth on the Israeli League ladder with a 5-4 win/loss record.

In Italy Napoli (6-4) are up to fourth on the Serie A ladder after a fourth straight win defeating San Martino 84-70. Jillian Harmon was her usual busy self, accumulating 21 points (8/14FG), 6 rebounds and 2 assists.

Melbourne Boomers (11-6) solidified their spot in second place on the Australian WNBL ladder with a couple of wins including an 86-42 demolition of Bendigo Spirit. Kalani Purcell had 9 points (4/5FG) and 9 rebounds in the massacre.

Perth Lynx have claimed an eleventh consecutive victory defeating Sydney University Flames in New South Wales. Cantabrian Toni Edmondson, working her way back after injury, contributed 3 points and 2 rebounds as the Lynx improve to 12-4 to top the WNBL table.

Townsville Fire (10-6) suffered a shock 79-64 home loss to Adelaide Lightning going down 79-64 but bounced back on Saturday defeating Bendigo 99-62. Micaela Cocks added a trio of rebounds and assists to 7 points as Townsville retains third spot.


Women win NZ Maori v Australian Indigenous Series – Men defeated



The NZ Maori Men’s and Women’s teams have just returned from Cairns after competing against the Australian Indigenous All-Stars.

The Men went down 2-1 in the best-of-three series winning the third encounter 94-81 after dropping the first two games.

New Southland Sharks signing Tom Vodanovich, Hyrum Harris and Dominique Kelman-Poto were prominent in all three games.

The inaugural Women’s series was swept by New Zealand 3-0 with Tall Ferns guard Jordan Hunter named MVP.

Hunter has been sidelined since the opening game of the Women’s Basketball Championship back in May when she tore her ACL.

Hunters’ return, topped with a couple of double-digit outings , is good news for the Tall Ferns selectors ahead of the Commonwealth Games in April.

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Career high’s for Davison and Leger-Walker plus better news for Tai Wynyard

tai wynyard

In weekend college action in the States both Penina Davidson and Krystal Leger-Walker posted career best numbers. It was quiet on the men’s front although Tai Wynyard enjoyed a little more action than normal.

Davidson scored a career high as she posted a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds in Cal Berkeley’s 92-85 win against Pacific. Davidson’s points in the Golden Bears fourth straight win were punched at a very efficient 9 from 11 from the field and 4 from 5 free throws.

Leger-Walker was only one point shy of a double-double in Northern Colorado’s 55-44 loss to Colorado State – just the third loss of the season for the Bears. Her 10 assists were a career high and she added 9 points, 2 rebounds and a steal.

Brooke Blair top scored with 20 points (7/11FG) as Idaho State Bengals won an exciting 64-62 overtime encounter against Hawaii. The win snaps a two game losing streak and improves the Bengals to 6-3 for the season.

Dru Toleafoa logged 13 points and added 4 points and 13 rebounds as Santa Clara Broncos rode all over Menio to win 104-61.

The lack of opportunity afforded Tai Wynyard at Kentucky is evidenced by the game time afforded the former Rangitoto College standout in the Wildcats 93-76 win against Monmouth.

The game was played at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York where Wynyard, given 12 minutes of court time. The power forward responded with 4 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals as Kentucky improved to 8-1 for the season.

12 minutes doesn’t seem a great deal of playing time but it equals the most opportunity he has been granted by Coach Calipari in his season and a half at Kentucky.

In his freshman year he averaged 3.6 minutes across 15 games played. Things haven’t improved greatly in season two with Wynyard averaging 5 minutes in the seven games he has played.

Plenty of good performances from Harbour players in the USA


Tera reedThere was plenty to like about the efforts of Harbour players in the US this week.

There was a double double from Katie Diakhaby, 14 points from Ella Fotu, 15 points from Olivia Bell and 14 points from Denhym Brooke.

However a career best from Tera Reed takes the biscuit this week.

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It was a good weekend for the Tall Blacks in Europe


Unlike their Breakers buddies all three European based Tall Blacks returned from international duty and registered wins with their respective clubs.

Tai Webster appeared to overcome the 11 hour flight from Hong Kong to Frankfurt without too much trouble as he registered 18 points (6/13FG, 3/3FT) as the Skyliners beat Oettinger Rockets 77-56.

Webster added 5 rebounds, 2 steals, a block and a game high 7 assists as the Skyliners improved to 7-4 for the season holding fifth spot on the German Bundesliga ladder.

Former Breaker Ekene Ibekwe was in the Oettinger lineup.

Ratiopharm Ulm are one win behind the Skyliners after a decisive 93-76 win against Mitteldeutscher.

Isaac Fotu equaled his season best rebounding effort pulling in 9 boards to go with 7 points (2/6FG, 3/4FT) and a steal for Ulm.

In Israel Ironi Nahariya defeated Maccabi Ashdod 81-76 with Nahariya improving to 5-3 for the season.

Corey Webster scored 13 points for Ironi Nahariya, his seventh double figure points haul in eight outings.

In other news former Tall Black Dion Prewster scored 10 points on debut for Uni Baskets Paderborn in their 93-92 win against Trier.

Paderborn competes in the Pro-A League, the equivalent of the German second division.

Another all Kiwi college battle


This time it’s two blokes going head to head. Three months ago they were facing off in the Harbour Premier competition at North Shore Events Centre. At the weekend they squared off in a PacWest Conference game.

Read who got the win link

Davidson v Beckley and Boagni v Noyer amongst Kiwi v Kiwi encounters


With record numbers of Kiwis playing college basketball in the States instances of New Zealand players taking the floor in direct opposition are becoming more and more common.

In the last three days there have been four editions of Mate v Mate, Kiwi v Kiwi, with Penina Davidson involved in two encounters – in total six Tall Ferns were in action.

First up Davidson and the Cal Berkeley Bears proved too good for Jacinta Beckley and Seattle Redhawks winning 87-67.

Beckley was in good form for the Redhawks nailing 15 points despite fouling out in 23 minutes.

Davidson contributed 3 points, 6 rebounds and a brace of assists in Cal’s fourth win of the season.

In the second episode it took an overtime period for Krystal Leger-Walker and Tiarna Clarke to edge Shalae Salmon and BYU Cougars 79-74.

For the Bears Leger-Walker, the only senior NZ international amongst the trio in this encounter, dished a team high 5 assists to go with 2 points and 3 rebounds. Freshman guard Tiarna Clarke chipped in with 6 points in the win.

Salmon continued her outstanding start to her sophmore season at BYU with 11 points and 6 rebounds.

In the third match up Davidson and Cal Berkeley prevailed once again this time smothering Santa Clara Broncos 79-41.

Dru Toleafoa, after an injury plagued spell, is enjoying some productive minutes for the Broncos and had 7 points, 4 rebounds and a block in a game in which they gave Cal a 16-0 start and never recovered.

It wasn’t the best of outings for Davidson who fouled out in just 16 minutes although in that time the former Rangitoto College standout produced 4 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals.

In the battle of two Kiwi centres Tessa Boagni and Cal State Northridge Matadors proved too good for Katelin Noyer and Fresno State Bulldogs winning 85-71 in the Matadome.

Boagni was outstanding with a career high 5 blocks to add to 10 points, 8 rebounds plus 2 steals for good measure.

Noyer dealt mainly in pairs having 2 points, 2 assists and 2 blocks for the Bulldogs.

Australian WNBL log jam – three Tall Ferns involved


Kalani purcell_n

There is a three-way tie at the top of the Australian WNBL with three Tall Ferns players in the midst of the action. Townsville Fire, Melbourne Boomers and defending champions Sydney University Flames each have an 8-4 record just over halfway through the regular season.

One of those players is Micaela Cocks. Her Townsville Fire team got the better of Melbourne Boomers (73-66) but came unstuck in Perth on Sunday going down 73-66.

After a 17 points haul the previous weekend Cocks had to settle for just 7 points across the two games in this round.

Melbourne of course boasts two Kiwi internationals with Kalani Purcell and Rebecca Ott in their lineup. However they didn’t enjoy the best of weeks losing to both of their closest rivals.

The loss to Townsville was followed by defeat at home to Sydney, 101-89.

Ott has just returned after injury but did post 4 points against the Sydney.

Purcell is amongst the top 10 rebounders in the WNBL and demonstrated that fact by snaring a team high 11 rebounds in Townsville.

Averaging 7.2 rebounds per game Purcell came up with another 5 against Sydney to go with 9 points

Canberra Capitals now sit dead last on the ladder after going down 83-80 at home to Bendigo Spirit. Chevannah Paalvast failed to put any points on the board but did dish a season high 5 assists.

In Italy Napoli won again with an 84-60 win against Vigarano. Jillian Harmon produced her third double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds as well as 5 assists.

Napoli now has a 4-4 record. Harmon is third on the Italian League individual standings for both points scored (18.0) and rebounds (9.6) per game.

Kiwis in College – Fordham trio beat Northern Colorado duo


In a first for New Zealand basketball five Kiwi players featured in the same NCAA Division 1 basketball game as Fordham University Rams beat University of Northern Colorado Bears, that endured a horror shooting night, 48-33 in a low scoring non-conference game.

The hosts featured three Kiwis in their line up led by Cantabrian forward Mary Goulding. They also have the freshman pair of Kendell Heremaia and Zara Jillings on their roster.

Northern Colorado entered the fixture boasting a 4-1 record with sophmore guard Krystal Leger-Walker and freshman guard Tiarna Clarke in their lineup but had a shooting night to forget making just one of 26 three point attempts – that single triple make from Leger-Walker in the final two minutes of the game.

Played on the Rams home court in the Bronx, New York, the hosts led by as many as nine points in the first half but had to settle for just a 21-18 advantage at the interval – both teams shooting around the 33% mark from the field.

UNC closed to within two points (22-20) early in the second half but a 13 – 1 run from Fordham including an inside bucket from Goulding and a corner three from Jillings moved them to a 35-21 lead.

All three Kiwis were on the board for Fordham when Heremaia converted a left-handed drive to take the Rams to a formidable 40-23 three-quarter time advantage.

Little was going right for UNC and a late rally failed to materialize as Fordham eased to a second regular season win of the season and relegated the Bears to its second lowest score in programme history.

All five Kiwis enjoyed sizeable court time putting up the following numbers:

Fordham Rams 48

Goulding – 22 minutes, 6 points, 7 rebounds

Jillings – 24 mins, 5 pts, 2 rebs, 1 assist, I steal

Heremaia – 20 mins, 2 pts, 7 rebs, 3 assists

Northern Colorado Bears 33

Leger-Walker – 35 mins, 3 pts, 4 rebs, 2 assists, 1 steal

Clarke – 0 pts, 2 rebs, 1 assist

L-W v Heremaia

Mate v Mate as Kiwi Women make a little bit of history

tiarna clarke

In a first for New Zealand basketball five Kiwi players will feature in the same NCAA Division 1 basketball game as Fordham University Rams entertained Northern Colorado Bears.

Played on the Rams home court in the Bronx, New York the two teams will match up for the very first time on Saturday afternoon (NZ time).

The hosts feature three Kiwis in their line up led by Cantabrian forward Mary Goulding. They also have the freshman pair of Kendell Heremaia and Zara Jillings on their roster.

Northern Colorado head to the Big Apple boasting a 4-0 record with sophmore guard Krystal Leger-Walker and freshman guard Tiarna Clarke both in good form.

Leger-Walker’s distribution skills are key for the Bears and her 5.5 assists per game rank her first amongst Big Sky Conference players in that statistical category.

Adding a little more spice to the game is that Jillings and Clarke oppose each other after both were in the class of 2016 at Westlake Girls High and were on the same Harbour team that won the U19 National title in that year.


There is also a Waikato mate v mate scenario, as Heremaia and Leger-Walker played on successful Waikato representative and school teams together. The pair were the key performers in St Peter’s, Cambridge winning the 2015 NZ Secondary Schools National title.