Category Archives: Tall Ferns

NCAA DI Weekend Wrap – 8 Kiwis in double figures

16 January

In NCAA Division I weekend action eighty Kiwis scored in double figures with Charlisse Leger-Walker, Olivia Williams and Helen Matthews leading the way.

Charlisse Leger-Walker scored 17 points to help secure Washington State (3-3) an 85-84 overtime win at Oregon. L-W, who added 7 rebounds, 6 assists and a block, moved past the 300 points mark for the season – 310 to be exact at 20.7ppg.

Olivia Williams top scored with 15 points (3/6 3PG) as Big West Conference leaders UC Irvine (4-0) defeated Rochelle Fourie’s California State Northridge 69-62.

Wofford (2-1) eked out a 55-51 win against UNC Greensboro with Helen Matthews scoring a team high equaling 15 points (6/9FG) to accompany 5 rebounds.

Ella Brow made 3 from 5 triples on her way to 14 points as Southern Methodist (3-2) won an overtime contest with East Carolina 68-66. The freshman also had a career high 8 assists to go with 6 rebounds a block and a steal.

Grace Hunter also scored 14 points in California State Bakersfield’s (1-5) 62-50 loss to UC San Diego.

Jade Kirisome scored 10 points as St Mary’s Gaels (3-3) pinched a 67-63 away win at neighbours San Francisco.

There were 9 points apiece for Kaylee Smiler and Arielle Mackey-Williams as BYU (5-2) defeated Pepperdine 63-52 for a fifth straight win.

Dani Bayes added 5 rebounds to 5 points as Boise State (2-2) went down 55-42 to San Diego State.

Unbeaten teams Portland (now 6-1) and Gonzaga met in a West Coast Conference heavyweight clash with the Zags getting the win 73-66. Emme Shearer scored 5 points for Portland.

Other Women’s Scores:

Fresno State (1-5) 71 (Amiee Book 4 points) Air Force 68

Virginia (3-4) 66 (McKenna Dale 2pts, 2rebs, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block) Boston College 50

Texas Christian (0-5) 70 (Tara Manumaleuga 2pts, 1 steal, 1 rebound) Oklahoma State 80

In Men’s NCAA Division I play Sam Mennenga’s 13 points – his 17th double digit outing in 18 games – couldn’t prevent Davidson (2-3) slipping to a third straight Atlantic 10 defeat going down 67-65 to George Mason.

Kruz Perrott-Hunt tallied 10 points but South Dakota (3-3) were well beaten by South Dakota State 

Nine of each – points and rebounds – for James Moors as Colorado State (2-4) won a thriller against Nevada, Las Vegas 82-81.

Tobias Cameron had 9 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists as Abilene Christian (1-4) slipped up against Tarleton State going down 72-63.

Younger brother Flynn Cameron also tallied 9 points as UC Riverside (5-1) won 65-64 for a first win in 25 attempts at UC Santa Barbara. The young Tall Black flirted with a double-double as he also had 9 assists.

Eight points, 10 rebounds and a block for Callum McRae as Sacramento State (5-1) edged Northern Arizona 59-56.

Tafara Gapare scored 6 points and added a block, a steal and 4 rebounds as Massachusetts (2-3) beat Rhode Island 75-65.

Wrapping up the college pre-Xmas fixtures

December 23

Wrapping up the NCAA Division I pre-Xmas games two form players – Charlisse Leger-Walker and Tobias Cameron – grab the headlines.

More on Cameron’s performance later but first the sizzling form of Leger-Walker continues. She scored 20 points, making 5 from 10 threes, as Washington State defeated A&M Corpus Christi 75-49. It was the 30th occasion, in 66 career games, that Leger-Walker has scored 20 points or more  – she also tallied 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals.

There were plenty of Kiwis present as Portland entertained BYU in a West Coast Conference fixture but it was largely one way traffic in favour of Emme Shearer (9 points), Melika Samia (2 points) and Flo Dallow (redshirting) as Portland triumphed 67-45. 

Arielle Mackey-Williams scored 8 points for BYU.

Mackey-Williams scored 15 points (6/10FG) – her third double figure outing of the season – as BYU enjoyed a bounce back win defeating Monmouth 70-50. Kaylee Smiler almost matched that number with 14 points to go with 3 rebounds, 6 assists, a pair of blocks and a steal.

Grace Hunter scored a season high 14 points to help Cal State Bakersfield to a 54-41 win against Pacific. Playing a team high 35 minutes the combo guard also came up with 3 steals, 2 rebounds and 2 assists.

Dani Bayes also scored 14 points, on 6 from 9 shooting, as Boise State got the better of Texas A&M Commerce 75-66. The freshman guard, in her 13th consecutive start, added 3 rebounds an assists and a steal. 

Helen Matthews scored 12 points, passing 400 career points in the process, as Wofford secured a 79-67 win against UNC Asheville. Matthews also corralled 7 rebounds in the victory.

Olivia Williams made 3 from 4 threes on her way to 11 points as UC Irvine defeated Grand Canyon 64-51. The sophomore guard added a brace of assists and steals plus 3 rebounds.

Yzabelle Tevao top scored for Chicago State with 11 points but the Cougars were well beaten by Green Bay going down 92-42.

Ella Brow scored 9 points (4/8FG) as Southern Methodist defeated Incarnate Word 57-44. Brow added 5 rebounds a couple of assists and steals.

Tara Manumaleuga scored 8 points as Texas Christian routed Nicholle 75-32.

Amiee Book filled the stats line with 8 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, a block and a steal but Fresno State were outclassed by UCLA going down 82-48.

Virginia, after 11 straight wins to start the season, suffered a 70-56 loss at Duke. McKenna Dale had 4 points, 3 rebounds, a couple of steals and a block in the defeat.

Other Women’s Results:

Chicago State 51 (Yzabelle Tevao 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 block) Florida Atlantic 63

New Mexico State 90 (Ashlee Strawbridge 4pts, 4rebs, 2 blocks, 1 steal) Northern New Mexico 42

Houston Christian 34 (Lauryn Mapusua 5 points, 2 rebounds) Texas 96

La Salle 55 (Emilee Tahata 2 points) Villanova 81

St Mary’s 45 (Amy West 3pts, Tayla Dalton 2pts, Jade Kirisome 2pts) USC 71

In men’s Division I play Tobias Cameron and Abilene Christian inflicted some pain on Howard Payne with a commanding 113-52 victory. Cameron enjoyed a season best 18 points on 7 from 10 shooting including 4 from 6 triples. He also had 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. 

Davidson were pipped 73-70 by Northeastern with Sam Mennenga a point shy of a double-double. The Tall Black forward finished with 9 points, 10 rebounds and a couple of steals. Mennenga heads into the Christmas break with 599 career points.

Davidson will open Atlantic 10 Conference play with a visit in-form Fordham on December 28. Fordham are 12-1 after an 80-77 overtime win against Virginia Military Institute. Zach Riley knocked down a three with 1:58 to play to give Fordham a 78-75 lead and finished with 8 points, 5 rebounds an assists and a block.

Once again in double-double territory was Callum McRae despite Sacramento State falling 59-49 to Cal State Fullerton. McRae scored 10 points leaving him just 9 short of 1,000 career points whilst pulling down a monster 14 rebounds – the third occasion in this campaign he has pulled down 14 boards.

Tafara Gapare had 5 points, 7 rebounds, a couple of assists and a block as Massachusetts  defeated Dartmouth 68-57 in their last non-conference game of the season.

Other Men’s Results:

Virginia 64 (Taine Murray 2 points, 1 rebound) Miami 66

UC Riverside 76 (Flynn Cameron 1 points, 5rebs, 5 assists, 3 steals) Portland 65

Hartford 53 (Tom Webley 4 points, 1 rebound) San Francisco 85

Merry Xmas.

Career performances from Shearer and West

December 19

Emme Shearer made a career high as Portland were also successful in their West Coast Conference opener. The former Harbour and Westlake Girls guard rattled in 4 from 5 threes to tally 19 points along with 5 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. 

It took overtime but St Mary’s made a perfect start with a 69-66 victory at Pacific as West Coast Conference play got underway. Amy West claimed a career high 12 rebounds as well as adding a block and 3 points in the win. Tayla Dalton also starred for the Gaels making a team high 18 points to accompany a quintet of rebounds and assists to go with 3 steals. 

BYU went down 67-58 at reigning West Coast champions Gonzaga. Arielle Mackey-Williams scored 6 points for BYU with Kaylee Smiler posting 2 points and 2 rebounds. 

Washington State have concluded non-conference play with a comfortable 83-56 win against Jackson State. Charlisse Leger-Walker once again led the Cougars with 20 points along with 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals

Grace Hunter posted a season high 13 points, making 3 from 5 three-pointers, in California State University Bakersfield’s 75-47 loss to #10 ranked UCLA. 

Tara Manumaleuga scored 9 points, tallied 4 rebounds and added one each in the assists, steals and blocks stats categories as Texas Christian eased to a 56-45 win against Grambling.

Amiee Book scored 8 points in Fresno State’s narrow 53-48 win against Utah Valley.

Helen Matthews had a symmetrical 7 rebounds and 7 points as Wofford accounted for Bellarmine 69-56. The junior guard out of Kaiapoi added 4 assists a block and a steal.

Fellow Cantabrian Ashlee Strawbridge scored 5 points as New Mexico State edged a tight one against Portland State 55-53.

Olivia Williams was a perfect 3 from 3 for her 6 points as UC Irvine carved out a 72-57 win against Dartmouth. The sophomore guard added 4 rebounds, a block and a pair of steals. 

Other Women’s Results:

Chicago State 73 Yzabelle Tevao (2 points, 2rebs, 1 assist, 1 bock) Western Michigan 101

Virginia 84 (McKenna Dale 2pts, 3rebs, 3 assists, 2 steals, I block) Morgan State 28

In Men’s Division I play Callum McRae tallied a game high 21 points, on 10 from 14 shooting, as Sacramento State won 59-53 at Fresno State – the first win for Sacramento at Fresno since 1954! Additionally McRae had 6 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and a block in 32 minutes.

Abilene Christian, with Tobias Cameron scoring a team high 17 points, erased an 18-point deficit, to claim a 65-59 win over Cal State Bakersfield. The Grad-Senior guard made 6 from 7 shots including 5 from 6 from beyond the arc. The 17 points also brought up 500 career points for Cameron.

Sam Mennenga and Davidson were in heady company on Saturday taking on the top ranked Division I team in the country, Purdue University. Mennenga demonstrated his qualities scoring a team high 14 points (6/11FG) in the 69-61 loss. The Tall Blacks forward also had 3 rebounds, a steal and an assist.

James Moors had 8 points, 4 rebounds and an assists as Colorado State stole a close one at St Mary’s 62-60. He now has exactly 100 points for the season.

Tom Webley had a productive 4 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists in Hartford’s 67-51 loss to St Francis, Brooklyn.

Other Men’s Result:

Marquette 69 (Ben Gold 3 points, 3 blocks, 1 rebound) Creighton 58

Book close to ton number two plus the Black Friday roundup

Amiee Book played NCAA game number 100 as Fresno State won a tight tussle with Delaware 53-49 at the Daytona Beach Invitational on Black Friday.

Book added 6 rebounds, 3 steals, a block and an assists to 4 points and is now just 6 points shy of the unique double of 1,000 points and 100 appearances in Women’s NCAA Division I basketball. It’s a double only achieved previously by 16 New Zealand players. 

Amy West, enjoyed her first outing of the season since recovering from a shoulder injury, as hosts St Mary’s beat Niagara 73-59 in the St Mary’s Thanksgiving Classic. The former Tall Fern finished with 6 points, 8 rebounds and a block in just 8 minutes. Tayla Dalton had a quartet of points and rebounds in the win.

Emme Shearer had 7 points, 5 rebounds and an assist as Portland enjoyed a come from behind 66-60 win against Houston at the St Pete Showcase in Florida.

Olivia Williams added triples of steals and rebounds to 8 points as UC Irvine defeated Long Island 65-56.

Other Women’s Results

New Mexico State 65 (Ashlee Strawbridge 5pts, 2rebs, 1assist, 1steal, 1 block) Yale 73

In Men’s Division I play Sam Mennenga was a highly efficient 7 from 8 from the field making 15 points, 4 rebounds and a couple of steals as Davidson College accounted for San Francisco 89-80.

At the North Shore Classic in Hawaii Sacramento State went down 74-61 to hosts Hawaii. Despite being on the losing team Callum McRae still produced an 11 points and 8 rebounds double.

Other Men’s Results

Hartford 55 (Tom Webley 4pts, 4rebs, 3 assists) Pennsylvania 75

Leger-Walker scores her 1,000th point; moves into elite company

Charlisse Leger-Walker moved into elite New Zealand women’s basketball company as Washington State University defeated Prairie View A&M 89-61 (on Monday morning NZT). Leger-Walker scored 24 points in the contest, her fourteenth point taking her to 1,000 career points – the 16th Kiwi to hit that mark in Women’s NCAA Division I college hoops.

By the end of the game the Tall Fern guard had overtaken Chev Paalvast (1,110 points) to move to fifteenth overall and only 22 points shy of sister Krystal’s mark of 1032.

CL-W has reached the milestone just three games into her junior (third) year, at Washington State in just 57 appearances – all of them starts.

The all-time record is held by Cantabrian Erin Rooney who scored 1,647 points in 131 games over four seasons – Monmouth University (2009-11) and Fordham University (2012-14).

Leger-Walker is currently averaging 17.7 points per game meaning, at her current rate of scoring, she would need to play 90 odd games to become the all-time leader. Barring major injuries one would imagine the record is well withing her grasp.

Worth noting from the list below is that Amiee Book, in her senior year at Fresno State University, is within 31 points of becoming the 17th player to join the illustrious group.

The full list of New Zealand women on the 1,000 NCAA Division I points list:

        1,647 Erin Rooney (Monmouth University Hawks, 2009-11/Fordham University Rams, 2012-14)
        1,624 Akiene-Tera Reed (Virginia Commonwealth 2017-21, USC 2021-22)
        1,497 Megan Compain (St Joseph’s University Hawks, 1993-97)
        1,439 Stella Beck (St Mary’s College Gaels 2014-18)
        1,291 Kendell Heremaia (Fordham University 2017-22)
        1,262 Rhaiah Spooner-Knight (Monmouth 17-18, Utah Valley 13-16)
        1,209 Tegan Graham (Colgate Uni 2016-20, BYU 2020-22)
        1,195 Micaela Cocks (University of Oregon Ducks, 2006-10)
        1,167 Ashleigh Karaitiana (University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine, 2012-16)
        1,144 Margaret Johns (Utah State University, 1979-83)
        1,096 Jillian Harmon (Stanford University Cardinals, 2005-09)
        1,089 Tessa Boagni (California State University, Northridge Matadors 2014-18)
        1,081 Josie Stockill (Colgate University Raiders, 2012-16)
        1,032 Krystal Leger-Walker (Washington State 2020-22, Northern Colorado 2015-18)
        1,110 Charlisse Leger-Walker (Washington State University 2020-present)
        1,006 Chevannah Paalvast (Monmouth University Hawks, 2010-14)
            969 Amiee Book (CSU Fullerton 2018-21, Fresno State University 2021-present)

In other news Dani Bayes filled the stats line as Boise State beat Weber State 63-52. The 2021 Tall Ferns trialist made 16 points (7/15FG) and added 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block in 33 minutes.

Tayla Dalton scored 10 points (2/3 3PG) to help St Mary’s College to an 88-81 win at California Baptist. She also tallied 4 rebounds and 2 assists while Jade Kirisome dished 5 assists to go along with 4 points as the Gaels made a 2-0 start to the season. 

Olivia Williams scored 8 points as UC Irvine edged a thriller against Sacramento State winning 60-58.

Kaylee Smiler made 3 from 3 from beyond the arc on her way to 12 points and Arielle Mackey-Williams added 7 points but BYU slipped to a 69-60 home defeat to Montana State.

Portland University Pilots found the going a little tough against Stanford, the second ranked team in Women’s Division I basketball, going down 87-47. Emme Shearer scored 9 points and Melika Samia 4 points in Portland’s first loss of the season.

In Men’s action South Dakota scored an 82-64 home win against Dakota State with Kruz Perrott-Hunt scoring 15 points to move to 717 career points – up to 10th spot amongst Kiwi points scorers in NCAA Division I Men’s basketball passing Sam Waardenburg (711 points).

Sam Mennenga continued his good early season form with 10 points, 6 rebounds and a couple of steals as Davidson College won a third straight game holding off Virginia Military Institute to win 75-71.

Other Results:

Sacramento State (Callum McRae 2pts, 6rebs, 4 assists)

Hartford 53 (Tom Webley 6pts, 4rebs, 1stl, 1 assist) St Francis 77

Charlisse Leger-Walker scores a career high

November 12

Charlisse Leger-Walker is closing in on 1,000 NCAA points after she scored a career high 35 points (11/26 FG, 9/10FT) in Washington State’s 65-59 come from behind win at San Francisco.

WSU overcame a 15-point deficit to claim their second win in as many outings, with CL-W now just 14 points shy of joining the 1000 points club. It’s the 24th time she has scored 20 points or more in 56 career games. She also had 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and a block in the game.

Washington State have a quick turnaround and play Prairie View A&M on Sunday November 13 (Monday morning NZ time) and one imagines the 1,000 points mark will be under threat in that contest.

Leger-Walker will become the 16th Kiwi to score 1,000 points in Women’s NCAA Division I college hoops joining such luminaries as Micaela Cocks, Megan Compain, Stella Beck, Tessa Boagni, and more recently Krystal Leger-Walker, the older sister of Charlisse.

In other games in the States on Friday (Saturday here) freshman Dani Bayes scored 12 points and grabbed 5 boards along with an assist and steal as Boise State were defeated 83-74 by Eastern Washington.

In Men’s Div I hoops James Moors was a perfect 5 from 5 from the field – including a made triple – as Colorado State beat Southeastern Louisiana 80-69. The junior forward filled the stats line with 11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, an assist and a block in 18 productive minutes

Virginia were far too strong for Monmouth winning 89-42 with Taine Murray scoring 7 points on 3 from 6 shooting.

Tobias Cameron also scored 7 points to add to 4 steals, plus a trio of assists and rebounds, in Abilene Christian’s 77-58 loss to Texas A&M.

Other Results:

Southern Methodist 74 (Ella Brow 2pts, 3rebs, 1 assist) Oklahoma 97

Cal State Bakersfield 56  Fresno State 53 (Amiee Book 6rebs, 1 assist, 1 steal)

Fordham 48 (Zach Riley 1 reb, 1 assist) Arkansas 74 

Overseas Roundup – Former schoolmates go head to head

Former Rangitoto College class mates Olivia Berry and Penina Davidson were on opposing sides for the first time since school days as the Tall Ferns took on the Melbourne Boomers on Saturday – the Boomers beating an inexperienced New Zealand team 85-62. 

Congratulations to Olivia on scoring her first points in the black singlet while Micaela Cocks stretched her record number of appearances for the Tall Ferns to 145.

Another pair of ex-Harbour and Rangitoto teammates were in opposition in Cairns on Sunday. It was Dan Fotu with the smiles as the Sky Sport Breakers beat Sam Waardenburg’s Cairns Taipans in a low scoring contest 68-64, the win taking the Breakers to second on the NBL ladder. 

Earlier in the week fellow Breaker Rob Loe brought up 600 career NBL rebounds with 8 boards against South East Melbourne Phoenix while Waardenburg scored 13 points as the Taipans registered an impressive 83-78 road win against defending champions the Sydney Kings.

Tyrell Harrison has made a return to the Brisbane Bullets ranks after a long spell out with injury. He was outstanding in the one-point loss to South East Melbourne Phoenix (89-88) accumulating 11 points and 8 rebounds in just 19 minutes.

Further afield Isaac Fotu scored 17 points on 7 of 10 shooting but Tochigi Brex had their three-game winning streak ended as they dropped their Japanese League double-header at Alvark Tokyo, beaten 77-75 and 60-57. Fotu had 13 points and 7 rebounds in the second loss.

Tai Webster produced 14 points and 5 assists as Socar Petkimspor defeated Darussafaka 94-75 and improve to 2-2 in the Turkish League.

Brother Corey Webster scored 9 points for Perth but the Wildcats were trounced 103-72 by the Tasmanian Jack Jumpers in the Australian NBL.

Another former Harbour and Westlake player Yanni Wetzell enjoyed a couple of midweek outings for ALBA Berlin.

ALBA won a German Cup Round of 16 tie 98-95 against Bonn. Wetzell scored a season high 23 points (9/10FG, 5/7FT) for Berlin while former Breakers teammate Finn Delany notched 12 points for Bonn. Wetzell tied the contest in the closing minute after Bonn had led 93-91. He added two free throws with 20 seconds remaining as the reigning champions advanced to the quarter-finals.

48 hours later he scored 11 points as Berlin thumped Greek side Panathinaikos 94-65 in a EuroLeague fixture.

Bonn put the cup defeat behind them by claiming a 79-72 League win at Braunschweig on Saturday – Delany with 11 points and 7 rebounds. 

Also in Germany Matt Freeman scored 13 points, making 3 from 5 from deep, as Bremerhaven won a thriller on the road against Jena 71-69. The victory improves Bremerhaven to 2-2 on the Pro A League ladder.

Tall Fern Tera Reed registered her third double-double in five games as Tampereen Pyrintö secured an exciting 73-72 Finnish League victory at Vimpelin Veto. Tera finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds as Pyrintö improved to 3-2 for the season.

Also close to a third double-double was Zoe Richards as AB Contern easily defeated Les Sangliers 83-60 in Luxemburg League action. Richards finished with 11 points and 9 rebounds as Contern improved to 5-1 on the season.

Nelsonian Gracie Roberts-Hare is playing her fourth season in the Dutch League. After three seasons with Lekdetec she has moved clubs and scored 13 points on debut for Triple Threat in a 71-61 win against Martini Sparks Haren.

Kiwis overseas – an early season roundup

17 October

With Leagues in Europe and Asia, as well as the Australian NBL, recently underway we take a look at the early season form of our overseas based Kiwis.

Nearest home, in the Australian NBL, Sam Waardenburg scored a season high 13 points as Cairns Taipans registered an impressive 83-78 road win against defending champions the Sydney Kings.

Over in Perth Corey Webster registered a dozen points but the Perth Wildcats were undone 84-81 by Melbourne United. 

Beginning the Japanese League season with six consecutive away games Isaac Fotu and Tochigi Brex dropped their opening three games but are now on a three game win streak after defeating Sendai 89ers twice over the weekend.

Playing a shade under 30 minutes a game the Tall Blacks forward is averaging 12.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game – second on the team in both categories.

There are four New Zealand players plying their trade in Germany this season.

Finn Delaney has scored between 11 points and 13 points in all four games for Bonn this season. 

Bonn are 2-0 in the German BBL and 1-1 in the European Champions League.

Yanni Wetzell scored 10 points (4/6FG) in just 15 minutes as ALBA Berlin won 80-74 on the road at Milan in EuroLeague action on Friday night. 

ALBA sit top of the BBL with a 3-0 record although the former Breakers forward has only played in one of those games. 

In the German second division (Pro-A League) Taki Fahrensohn and his club Jena have enjoyed a 3-0 start to the season with the Tall Blacks wing averaging 7 points and 5 rebounds per game. In a small sample size he has made 63% (5 from 8) 3-pointers in his three outings.

Also in the Pro-A League Matt Freeman scored 14 points for Eisbaeren Bremerhaven but it was a tough game for the hosts thumped 112-78 by Dusseldorf and currently mid table with a 1-2 record.

Tai Webster has averaged 10.5 points and a brace of assists as Socar Petkimspor have opened the Turkish League with a win and a loss.

Tall Fern Tera Reed followed her 27 points haul last week with 23 points at the weekend but Tampereen Pyrintö slipped to 1-3 in the Finnish League after going down 79-73 to Honka. – all three defeats by six points or less. Reed leads the team in points (19ppg) and rebounds (11.0rpg).

Fellow Tall Fern Zoe Richards is averaging 10.8 points and 9.6 rebounds as her club AB Contern sit second on the Luxemburg League ladder with a 4 wins – 1 loss record.

The Southern Hoiho forward recently posted a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds as Contern won a nail biter against Musel Pikes 56-54.

The Australian WNBL begins on November 2nd with Penina Davidson and Lauryn Hippolite again suiting up for defending champions Melbourne Boomers while Kalani Purcell will again play for Sydney Flames.

Krystal Leger-Walker will make her WNBL debut in Townsville Fire colours with the Fire entertaining UC Capitals in the opening round.

Mary Goulding is named to the Bendigo Spirit roster but her status is unclear given she suffered a serious leg injury playing for Mainland Pouākai during the 2022 Tauihi season.

A Unique Opportunity

After four years of painstaking research, interviewing key individuals and compiling the text, ‘The History of New Zealand Basketball’, the official history of the sport in New Zealand to date, is being released .

Wellington based basketball historian and author Roger Booth will be available to sign individual copies of his unique and outstanding publication, “History of New Zealand Basketball” at the upcoming book launch.

When: Friday June 24, 4.30-6.30pm

Where: Kings Lounge, Eventfinda Stadium

Cost: Free

MC: Former Tall Blacks captain John Macdonald

Special Guests:  John Dybvig, Tom Abercrombie, Dillon Boucher, Leanne Walker, Kim Lucas, and Carolyn Grey.

The launch precedes the Auckland Tuatara v Nelson Giants NBL game being played at Eventfinda (tip-off 7.30pm) that evening.

Fundamentally a people story, individual interviews and subsequent comments are the heart of the text that has now emerged – Booth interviewed over 200 people to formulate this 570 page masterpiece.

The book, with a large quota of photographs, tells the story of the game in New Zealand, its key factor being coverage of every senior international game from 1947.

Please Tell Your Basketball Friends

This is the only full New Zealand history of our sport, and there will not be another one for many years. If you are unable to attend the launch but would like to purchase a copy of the History of New Zealand Basketball you can contact Roger Booth directly – chrisrog@outlook.com

Charlisse L-W and Kruz P-H the standouts – latest Div I wrap

The prodigious Charlisse Leger-Walker scored a career high 30 points (9/18FG, 8/10FT) as Washington State secured a 63-56 road win at Colorado. The Cougars leading scorer now has 346 points at 17.3ppg this season.

Krystal L-W produced her usual all-court game in the win – 8 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and a steal for the senior point guard. 

Another former St Peter’s School, Cambridge standout Kendell Heremaia, produced a 15-points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals performance to help propel Fordham to a 59-52 victory against Duquesne. Fordham now 7-2 in the Atlantic-10 and third spot on the ladder.

BYU produced a stunning second half performance to defeat Gonzaga in the top of the West Coast Conference table clash. Down 35-20 at half-time BYU gave up just 3 points in the third quarter and 15 in the half to win 62-50. Tegan Graham added 5 rebounds to 3 points in the victory. Both teams now have an 8-1 record.

Also, in the West Coast Conference Tayla Dalton scored in double figures for the third straight game as St Mary’s got back to .500 with a commanding 96-80 win at Pacific. Dalton finished with 15 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.

Jade Kirisome was also in good form with 14 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists.

South Dakota’s leading scorer Kruz Perrott-Hunt, averaging 15 points per game, scored exactly that number as the Coyotes went down 89-79 to top of the table South Dakota State. Perrott-Hunt also dished a team high 5 assists and claimed 6 rebounds.

James Moors was one of three Colorado State players in double figures as the Rams won a thriller against San Diego State 58-57. The sophomore forward added 8 rebounds, a block and a steal to 10 points (3/3FG, 4/5FT).

Sam Mennenga was also highly efficient as Davidson remained top of the Atlantic 10 with a 78-73 win against George Washington. Mennenga had 10 points (4/5FG, 3/4FT), 3 rebounds and a block.

Yuat Alok scored 11 points and secured 3 rebounds as New Mexico State defeated Seattle 79-64.

Sam Waardenburg and the University of Miami Hurricanes made a sensational start in the ACC. However they have lost twice this week including a 71-58 defeat at Virginia where Sam had 6 points, 5 rebounds, a block and a couple of assists.

Abilene Christian 83 (Tobias Cameron 2 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal) UTRGV 66