Category Archives: Kiwi’s Abroad

Opening Week Wrap – Kiwi Men playing NCAA Div I hoops

Fahrensohn4410

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.

 

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).

NAIA 

Seniors

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)

Sophomores

Carl Isitt (Central Methodist University after attending Papanui High)

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

Freshmen

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

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

 

NCAA Division III

Seniors

Sam Lees (Whitworth University after attending Middleton Grange School

Liam Wilby (Allegheny College out of Wellington College)

Junior

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

Sophomores

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)

Freshmen

Fletcher Arnold (Knox College after attending Ashburton College)

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

Toni Farnworth makes 250th WNBL appearance in Melbourne Boomers win

Toni Farnworth boomers

All five Kiwis playing in the Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) this season appeared in the same game on Sunday in Townsville.

All but one of the five are playing for Melbourne Boomers and it will be the quartet of Penina Davidson, Stella Beck, Toni Farnworth and Kalani Purcell who will be the happiest having inflicted an 80-71 defeat on Micaela Cocks and the Townsville Fire.

The match was a big occasion for veteran wing Toni Farnworth. The Cantabrian, having transferred from Perth Lynx in the off-season was playing her 250th WNBL game and didn’t miss a shot in making seven points as well as adding a pair of assists and rebounds.

Beck and Davidson are also in their inaugural seasons with the Boomers having transferred from Townsville and Adelaide Lightning respectively. Beck had 2 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and a block with Davidson adding 4 points and 2 rebounds.

Purcell, in her third season with the Boomers, didn’t post any points but did claim 4 rebounds, and a brace of steals in the win.

Cocks, the Townsville captain and in her ninth season with the club, had a quiet outing scoring just two points.

Melbourne boast a 4-0 start to the season to head the WNBL table with the Fire languishing last with an 0-4 record.

News on Kiwis playing in Europe

Jillian Harman posted an impressive 20 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals as Ragusa rounded out the Italian League regular season with a 96-78 victory against Torino. The Tall Ferns forward has been a standout for Ragusa averaging 15.7 points and 8.4 rebounds across 20 games.

Ragusa finished third on the Serie A ladder with a 16-4 record ahead of the play-offs.

2018 Tall Fern Jacinta Beckley is averaging 8.1 points and 2.6 rebounds in her first professional season playing for Ujbuda in the Hungarian League. Ujbuda have struggled this season winning just four of twenty-one games and sitting 11thof 12 teams on the Hungarian League ladder.

Beckley will link up with former Tall Ferns coach Kennedy Kereama at Sunbury Jets in Melbourne when the Hungarian League concludes. The Jets will be looking to defend their Big V League title.

Galatasaray are up to fifth in the Turkish League after defeating Besiktas 93-87. Tai Webster scored 18 points (3/4 3PG) and added 7 rebounds, 4 assists and a couple of steals. Galatasaray have a 12-8 record with seven rounds left in the regular season and a top eight play-off spot appearing likely. Webster is averaging 11.6 points and 4 assists in Turkish League games.

In Germany Isaac Fotu is back on court for Ratiopharm Ulm after a two month injury lay-off. The Tall Blacks forward played just 4 minutes, scoring 3 points, as Ulm beat Crailsheim 99-87. They sit seventh on the German League standings with a 12-11 record – a cluster of four teams are at 12-12 in a congested race for the play-offs.

Max Darling has scored 21 and 17 in consecutive games for Osijek in the Croatian League. In the last outing he added 10 rebounds to his 21 points (6/7FG) for his first double-double of the season. Osijek sit equal 5thon the Croatian Premier League table with a 9-9 record.

Tony Tolovae is enjoying a good season in Norway ahead of his return to the Canterbury Rams. Playing for Gimle BBK Bergen he is averaging 16.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Gimle overcame Baerum 78-64 in the semi-final opener with Tolovae making 7 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists.

Maxim Stevens contributed 7 points and 4 rebounds for Kronberg in its 90-76 win against Stuttgart in the German Regional South-West League. The NZ Under 18 representative is averaging 6.3 points and 4.6 rebounds for Kronberg.

Kaitlin Burgess commits to the Golden Eagles

53060165_365466197503485_8100495082613899264_n

Former Rangitoto College basketball standout Kaitlin Burgess has signed with the College of Southern Idaho to a full ride scholarship beginning in August this year.

Kaitlin has just completed her final year at Riverton High School, Utah after moving from Rangitoto at the end of the 2017 academic year. In her recently completed senior year she averaged 16 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists, leading the Riverton High Silverwolves to the quarter-finals at the State Championship.

“I am excited to be given the opportunity to be part of such a great basketball programme and I look forward to working with coach Randall and the girls at CSI next season” said Kaitlin.

The Golden Eagles play in the Scenic West Athletic Conference which is the same conference as Utah State Eastern University, where former Mt Albert Grammar School forward Sharne Pupuke-Robati will be attending later this year.

Kaitlin is following in the footsteps of Rangitoto College alumni Penina Davidson, Brooke Blair and Jaycin Tini who all enjoyed successful college careers in the Sates.

In addition to Burgess and Pupuke-Robati, the trio of Charlotte Armstrong, Awatea Leach and Leah Mafua are other Kiwi women that have committed to playing in the States in the 2019-20 season and beyond.

Penina Davidson and Adelaide Lightning bolt into WNBL Final

peninadavidson

And then there was one!

This time last week Tall Ferns Toni Farnworth (Perth Lynx), Kalani Purcell (Melbourne Boomers) and Penina Davidson (Adelaide Lightning) were all vying for a shot at the Australian Women’s National Basketball League title.

Now there is just one New Zealand representative chasing Australia’s prime domestic honour after Perth and Melbourne were swept 2-0 in their respective best-of-three semi-finals series.

Having lost 95-76 against regular season champions Canberra Capitals last weekend Perth put up a stronger showing at home on Thursday night. However, the basketball gods were not doing them any favours as two of the Lynx starters, Kayla Steindl and Asia Taylor, played limited minutes due to injury. Toni Farnworth (4 points and 2 rebounds) and her teammates battled bravely but eventually went down 91-75 – eliminated in the semis for the second successive season.

If that result was somewhat predictable the elimination of the Melbourne Boomers, coached by Tall Ferns mentor Guy Molloy, was perhaps more of a surprise.

After starting the season 3-6 Adelaide won all but two of its remaining 13 fixtures although they had lost all three regular season games against Melbourne. However, carrying the confidence of wining seven of its last eight games into the semi-final series, Adelaide pinched an important road win (76-60) last weekend. They completed the job at home on Thursday winning a high quality encounter 100-96.

Davidson, in here rookie pro season, played just three minutes in game two but had been a key spark off the bench in the first encounter scoring 8 points (4/7FG) whilst also securing a couple of rebounds.

Kalani Purcell was her usual industrious self for Melbourne totaling 15 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and a couple of blocks over the two games but her efforts, and those of her teammates, were not quite enough against an inspired Lightning.

The Lightning return to the finals for the first time since 2008 and we will be following the fortunes of Davidson, the Tall Ferns and former Cal Berkeley forward, closely.

The finals will also be a best-of-three series beginning in Canberra on February 9th.

More accolades for Micaela Cocks

micaela cocks copy

Micaela Cocks, who became just the second player behind Rachael McCully to chalk up 200 games for the Townsville Fire, won the Players’ Player award for a record-breaking fourth time at the Fire’s Awards evening at the weekend.

Cocks went back-to-back in 2011/12 and 2012/13 and has now repeated the accomplishment after winning the award in 2017/18.

Remarkably, the Players’ Player is the eighth club award the New Zealand Olympian has won during her time at the Fire.

Cock’s received a further accolade on the night as she, alongside Mia Murray and Suzy Batkovic was awarded a life membership.

After missing the finals for the first time in eight seasons, the Fire will look to bounce back in the 2019/20 Australian WNBL season with a new-look squad following Suzy Batkovic’s retirement with Cock’s and fellow Kiwi Stella Beck almost certain to be part of that line-up.

Three out of five Tall Ferns in WNBL play-offs

Kalani

Three out of five ain’t bad.

The Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) play-off’s begin next week with three of the teams contesting the semi-finals featuring current Tall Ferns players.

Penina Davidson in her first season as a professional since graduating from the University of California Berkeley, is in the Adelaide Lightning lineup.

Adelaide, coached by former Tall Ferns assistant coach Chris Lucas, return to the play-offs for the first time since 2013 and after finishing third in the regular season will face second placed Melbourne Boomers in one semi.

penina davidson copy 4

Current Tall Ferns Head Coach Guy Molloy is the Melbourne mentor and has Tall Ferns forward Kalani Purcell to lead his team’s defensive effort. Purcell is in her second season with the Boomers and leads the team in steals (1.5spg) and is second in rebounding (5.5rpg).

The first game of the best-of-three series is in Melbourne on Sunday January 27.

Toni Farnworth, like Purcell a Commonwealth Games silver medalist, captains the Perth Lynx that are appearing in a fourth straight semi-final. The experienced Farnworth and the Lynx are bidding to win their first championship.

Perth will face regular season champions Canberra Capitals with the opening game in Canberra on Friday January 25.

The Townsville Fire duo of Stella Beck and Micaela Cocks finished the season on a positive note with a 90-82 victory against Sydney Flames. Beck, promoted to the starting five, scored 10 points to accompany 5 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals. The win was not enough to carry the defending champions back to the play-offs, the Fire finishing fifth with a 10-12 record.

Kiwi v Kiwi – Reed v Nicholls

The Virginia Commonwealth University Rams versus La Salle University Explorers Atlantic-10 match up featured good mates Akiene-Tera Reed and Michelle Nicholls in opposition.

The pair spent their last two high school years together at Life Centre Academy in New Jersey before securing scholarships at their respective NCAA Division I universities.

Reed is again leading the Rams scoring this season (averaging 13.2 points per game) and against La Salle scored a team high 12 points as VCU secured an emphatic 68-38 win.

Nicholls (second on the La Salle scoring list this season averaging 7.7ppg) came up with 5 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals in 25 minutes for La Salle but it was a disappointing night for the Explorers who gave up a colossal 34 turnovers.

Reed will face more Kiwi opposition next week when VCU travel to the Bronx to face Fordham University who have Mary Goulding, Kendell Heremaia and Zara Jillings in their lineup.

 

200th appearance ends in disappointment for Micaela Cocks

micaela copy

The Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) title defence is over for Micaela Cocks and Townsville Fire.

Cocks had a three-point attempt rim out to try and force overtime in the 77-72 loss to Dandenong but ultimately her 200thappearance for the Fire ended in disappointment.

The acting captain finished with 14 points (5/10FG) but ultimately her effort, and that of Stella Beck (4 points), were not enough.

It wasn’t a good weekend for another Kiwi skipper though. Toni Farnworth and Perth Lynx were beaten 64-59 in Melbourne by the Boomers. Farnworth’s shooting touch has deserted her of late and she went zero from five in this one.

Kalani Purcell doesn’t need to score too many points to influence a game and again the Tall Ferns forward played a key role for Melbourne despite scoring just three points.  She pulled down a team high 10 rebounds, a team best 3 steals and dished 4 assists in a typical all court display.

The two teams will meet again, this time in Perth, on Thursday.

Adelaide Lightning maintained fourth spot on the WNBL ladder with an 110-61 dismantling of Sydney. Penina Davidson scored in double figures for the Lightning adding 5 rebounds to 13 points (4/8FG).

 

WNBL Ladder:

13-5 Canberra Capitals

13-5 Melbourne Boomers

11-7 Perth Lynx

11-7 Adelaide Lightning

8-10 Dandenong Rangers

7-11 Townsville Fire

7-11 Bendigo Spirit

2-16 Sydney Flames