Basketball New Zealand has named the Aon New Zealand Under 17 girls team, ahead of the FIBA Under 16 Girls’ Asia Cup, which will be played in Bangalore 22-28 October.
Head Coach Lori McDaniel, who has a strong coaching resume with two Women’s Basketball Championship titles to her name with the Canterbury Wildcats, says the Asia Cup is this young team’s pinnacle event for 2017 and their training has been focused on this event.
“We have had multiple camps during the year to gel as a group and become familiar with our systems and expectations. We have put the girls through some ‘outside the box’ activities in order to prepare them to be adaptable and embrace adversity,” says Coach McDaniel.
There’s no doubt that adversity will come in a number of ways, with Bangalore presenting conditions similar to those the Tall Ferns battled in July this year when they played in the Women’s Asia Cup. The Tall Ferns not only had strong opponents to contend with, but they were hindered by food poisoning, and hot and humid playing conditions. Coach McDaniel says these conditions might not change much for this young age-group team, especially when it comes to the opposition teams.
“The Asian teams play very fast and aggressively, and we all know how skilled and disciplined the Australian players are. Most of the teams we encounter will play a style similar to their women’s teams, which we saw in July when the Tall Ferns played. So we expect a high level of competition with some very fit and skilled athletes.
“It’s a big tournament in a big country, but travel and heat are factors all the teams have to contend with.”
Coach McDaniel says the team will travel to Bangalore early, to allow four days to adjust and finish off their preparation ahead of stepping into their very first Asia Cup.
“We have a talented group of young ladies who are in the unique situation of being the first New Zealand age-group to play in the Asia Zone. We will strive to embrace this opportunity to showcase our skillset on such a large stage.”
As for how this event will test McDaniel as a coach, she says that too is a team effort, alongside Assistant Coaches Jody Cameron and Gina Farmer.
“I am fortunate in my coaching role to be supported by two former Tall Ferns who have a great deal of experience in international travel within the Basketball New Zealand system.”
Aon New Zealand Under 17 Women:
· Ella Bradley (Waikato Basketball Council)
· Isabelle Cook (Taranaki Country Basketball Association)
· Tayla Dalton (North Harbour Basketball)
· Charlisse Leger-Walker (Waikato Basketball Council)
· Paris Lokotui (Wellington Basketball Association)
· Jordyn Maddix (North Harbour Basketball)
· Helen Matthews (North Canterbury Basketball Association)
· Kyra Paniora (Brisbane, Australia)
· Sharne Pupuke-Robati (Auckland Counties Manukau)
· Briarley Rogers (Tauranga City Basketball Association)
· Rosalia Samia (Basketball Hawkes Bay)
· Tessalonia Talo-Tomokino (North Harbour Basketball)
· Head Coach – Lori McDaniel
· Assistant Coach – Gina Farmer
· Assistant Coach – Jody Cameron
· Manager – Ushma Shah
· October 15 Assemble
· October 15-16 Preparation Camp – Auckland, New Zealand
· October 17 Travel to India
· October 18-21 Preparation Camp – Bangalore, India
· October 22-28 U16 FIBA Asia Championships – Bangalore, India
Photo caption – U17 squad photo:
· Back row: Kyra Paniora, Brairley Rogers, Rosalia Samia, Helen Matthews, Charlisse Leger-Walker, Jordyn Maddix, Tessalonia Tomokino-Talo
· Front row: Isabelle Cook, Rikki Fiatau (not in team travelling to India), Rashaan Smith (not in team travelling to India), Tayla Dalton, Sharne Pupuke-Robati, Ella Bradley.