RJ edges LaMelo and Abercrombie nearing another milestone

RJ Hampton

The official attendancefor the Sky Sport Breakers opening home game against Illawarra Hawks last week at Spark Arena on Sunday was 8,338 – the 6thhighest crowd all-time for the Breakers and the third largest ever for a regular season fixture.

The reaction of the crowd during the game showed that many were there to see future NBA players LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton in action.

So who won the first round of that matchup between the two? Being biased I give Hampton the verdict but only just.

I had both players in my fantasy team with Ball scoring 32 points and RJ 37 points emphasizing how close the contest was.

Fortunately we get to see them go head to head on three more occasions this season with the next round back at Spark Arena on November 30th.

The largest crowd the Breakers have ever attracted was 9,238 for Game 3 of the 2012 Grand Final series against Perth Wildcats. The biggest regular season crowd was 9,157 on February 1st2013, when the Breakers won a 10th straight game defeating Perth 98-81 with Corey Webster scoring 14 points to back up Cedric Jackson’s 22 points.

Largest Regular season crowds:

9,157 v Perth Wildcats, 1.2.2013

8,500 v Adelaide 36’ers, 28.2.2013

8,338 v Illawarra Hawks, 24.10.19

7,979 v Sydney Kings, 27.1.2012

7,947 v Cairns Taipans, 21.3.2014

7,597 v Perth Wildcats, 13.12.2013

7,494 v Sydney Kings, 20.10.2019

 

v Illawarra Hawks at Spark Arena

Scotty Hopson produced the first Breakers double-double of the season pulling down 10 rebounds to go with 17 points.

Development Player Terry Li, afforded a couple of minutes of action, became Breaker #114 and the first Chinese national to play for the club.

Ethan Rusbatch played his first game for the Breakers since January 2017 – he made three brief appearances in the 2016-17 season (when a Development player). Nice to see the Tall Black guard knock down a pair of threes.

Corey Webste moved up to 7th on the Breakers all-time assists list with a dozen dimes over the two games against Illawarra and Melbourne. He replaces Tom Abercrombie at No 7 and has 6thplaced Kirk Penney in his sights.

All-Time Breakers Assists List

901 Paul Henare

834 Cedric Jackson

655 Mika Vukona

635 Dillon Boucher

466 CJ Bruton

374 Kirk Penney

371 Corey Webster

369 Tom Abercrombie

 

Upcoming

Tom Abercrombie is 17 points shy of becoming the first Breakers player to break the 3,500 points mark. The club’s all-time leading scorer could well pass that milestone during the upcoming round with games against Cairns and Perth set down for Thursday and Sunday.

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.

Sky Sport Breakers record crowd plus more

 

Breakers Crowd

The official attendance for the Sky Sport Breakers opening home game against Sydney Kings at Spark Arena on Sunday was 7,497 – the 12thhighest crowd all-time for the Breakers and the largest ever for an opening game of the season.

The crowd for the Illawarra Hawks clash on Thursday is forecast to be even bigger. If it passes the 8,000 mark, which is looking likely, it will be only the eighth occasion a Breakers home crowd has exceeded that number and just the third time during the regular season.

The largest crowd the Breakers have ever attracted was 9,238 for Game 3 of the 2012 Grand Final series against Perth Wildcats. The biggest regular season crowd was 9,157 on February 1st 2013, when the Breakers won a 10thstraight game defeating Perth 98-81 with Corey Webster scoring 14 points to back up Cedric Jackson’s 22 points.

Breakers largest regular season crowds:

9,157 v Perth Wildcats, 1.2.2013

8,500 v Adelaide 36’ers, 28.2.2013

7,979 v Sydney Kings, 27.1.2012

7,947 v Cairns Taipans, 21.3.2014

7,597 v Perth Wildcats, 13.12.2013

7,494 v Sydney Kings, 20.10.2019

 

Opening Games of the season.

Scottie Hopson’s 27 points in the opening game in Sydney ranks fourth equal with the most points scored by a Breaker in their debut game for the club.

Most points scored on debut for the Breakers:

34 Carlos Powell, September ‘06

31 Brian Wethers, September ‘06

29 Ben Melmeth, October ‘03

27 Shawn Redhage, September ‘04

27 Scottie Hopson, October ‘19

25 Marcus Timmins, December ‘05

23 Kirk Penney, October ‘07

Most points scored in opening two games for the Breakers:

56 Brian Wethers, September ‘06

54 Carlos Powel, September ‘06

46 Kirk Penney, October ‘07

45 Ben Melmeth, October ‘03

40 Scottie Hopson, October ‘19

 

Corey Websterplayed game number 200 for the Breakers in the home encounter with Sydney on Sunday.

He became just the sixth player to reach the double century mark for the club after Mika Vukona (354), Tom Abercrombie (304), Paul Henare (250), Alex Pledger (238) and Dillon Boucher (220).

Kiwis at Canadian colleges – men and women

Dionne Martin (Canada)

Dionne Martin

At least five New Zealand players, three women and two men, have basketball scholarships at Canadian Universities.

Senior

Dionne Martin (Algoma University)

Season 18/19 Games 23, Starts 20, Points 279 (12.1ppg), Rebounds 124 (5.4rpg), Assists 44 (1.9)

From Hamilton Girls High School Martin attended Southeast Community College before Algoma.

The Taupo native was the leading scorer (12.1ppg) and rebounder (5.4rpg) last season. Martin scored double-digit points in nine games for the Thunderbirds.

Juniors

Hayden Collier - Canada

Hayden Collier

Hayden Collier (University of Regina)

Attended Rangiora High School before spending two years at Laramie County Community College.

Isaac Miller-Jose (University of Manitoba)

Season 18/19 Games 16, Points 75 (4.7ppg), Rebounds 56 (3.5rpg)

Scored a season best 20 points against Trinity Western in January, 2019.

Attended Wellington College.

 

Sophomore

Maia Watling (Cape Breton University)

Season 18/19 Games 9, Points 23, Rebounds 15

Attended Palmerston North Girls High School.

Played for North Canterbury Spirit in 2019 WBC season.

Sofia Kennedy

Sofia Kennedy

Freshman

 Sofia Kennedy (University of Windsor)

 From Middleton Grange School, Christchurch.

Played for Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats in 2019 WBC season.

Kiwis in college preview – NCAA Division II Men

Jayden_Bezzant_feature_cover

Jayden Bezzant

Continuing our preview of the 2019-20 US college basketball season we take a look at the New Zealand men playing NCAA Division II hoops.

In 2018-19 there were 21 Kiwi men at NCAA Division II colleges – for the 2019-20 season that number has dropped to 18 but still well above the 11 that were playing in 2017-18.

Combined Division I and II there are 38 Kiwi men at US colleges this season.

Seniors

 Jayden Bezzant (Northwest Nazarine University)

Season 18/19 Games 26, Starts 8, Points 341 (13.1ppg), Rebounds 54 (2.1rpg), Assists 55 (2.1)

Has scored 944 career points for the Nighthawks in 77 games played.

From Tauranga attended St John’s College, Hamilton.

Isaac Davidson (Sonoma State University)

Season 18/19 Games 27, Starts 23, Points 375 (13.9ppg), Rebounds 121 (4.5rpg)

Last season led Sonoma in 3-point shooting percentage making 39 from 86 at 45.4%.

Like sister, Tall Fern Penina Davidson, Isaac attended Rangitoto College.

Logan Elers (South Dakota School of Mines)

Season 18/19 Games 30, Starts 0, Points 359 (12.0ppg), Rebounds 189 (6.3rpg), Assists 65 (3.2)

Out of Rotorua Boys High School Elers had highs of 21 points, 18 rebounds and 7 assists for South Dakota last season playing alongside fellow Kiwi Wilfred Dickson.

 

Juniors

Wilfred Dickson (South Dakota School of Mines)

Season 18/19 Games 30, Starts 1, Points 123 (4.1ppg), Rebounds 44 (1.5rpg)

From Napier Boys High School Dickson is playing alongside Logan Elers for South Dakota School of Mines Rockers.

Patrick Robertson (University of Maine at Augusta)

Season 18/19 Games 22, Starts 0, Points 55 (2.5ppg), Rebounds 44 (2.0rpg)

A shooting guard Robertson is out of Rosmini College although he spent his final year in high school at Rotorua Boys High.

 

Sophomores

 Mandela Baledrokadroka (Davis & Elkins College)

Season 18/19 Games 6, Starts 6, Points 85 (14.2ppg), Rebounds 45 (7.5rpg), Assists 28 (4.7apg)

Former Mt Albert Grammar School standout with one of the coolest names in Kiwi basketball.

 Conor Flanagan (University of West Florida)

 The former Auckland Grammar School centre will play alongside Johnny Helu for the superbly named Argonauts – sat out last year due to injury incurred at NZ U23 Nationals.

Expected to play substantial minutes this season.

T Higgins

Tom Higgins

Tom Higgins ( Texas A&M International)

Season 18/19 Games 26, Starts 12, Points 91 (3.5ppg), Rebounds 81 (3.1rpg)

Before completing his high school studies at Auckland Grammar School Higgins attended Te Awamutu College. Scored a season high 16 points against St Mary’s, Texas in his freshman year.

Played for the Junior Tall Blacks at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup in Greece.

Josh Lowe (Lee University)

Season 18/19 Games 23, Starts 0, Points 59 (2.6ppg), Rebounds 38 (1.7rpg)

The rangy forward spent time at Impact Academy in Florida after graduating from Ashburton College.

Oscar Oswald.jpeg

Oscar Oswald

Oscar Oswald (St Edwards University)

Season 18/19 Games 6, Starts 0

The former Palmerston North Boys High standout will unfortunately have to redshirt the 2019-20 season after undergoing ACL surgery.

Played for the Junior Tall Blacks at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup in Greece.

Tom Power (University of Hawaii at Hilo)

Season 18/19 Games 26, Starts 1, Points 31 (1.2ppg), Rebounds 41 (1.6rpg)

The former Hamilton Boys High forward is well regarded at Hilo where he played in all 26 games for the Vulcans last season as a freshman.

Tom Power

Tom Power

Freshmen

Matt Brien (University of Nebraska at Kearney)

Attended St Kevin’s in Oamaru before finishing high school at St Pat’s College, Wellington. Then spent a year at OnPoint Academy in El Reno, USA.

 Kurt Feneon (Christian Brothers University)

Formerly of Christchurch Boys High School and Mainland Eagles Academy.

Will Heather (Dallas Baptist University)

The former Rosmini College centre missed the 2018-19 season due to shoulder surgery.

Played for New Zealand at the 2017 FIBA U18 3×3 World Cup in China.

Sione Johnny Helu (University of West Florida)

Out of Wellington College Helu will play alongside Conor Flanagen for the West Florida Argonauts. He was MVP at 2019 U23 Nationals playing for Hutt Valley.

Tyler Marsh (St Cloud State University)

A product of Waimea College, Nelson and Mainland Eagles Academy.

Oscar Robertson (Regis University)

Out of New Plymouth Boys High School played for New Zealand at the 2017 FIBA U17 Oceania Championships in Guam.

Thomas Whyte (Assumption College)

After graduating from Auckland Grammar School attended St Thomas More Prep School in the States for a year.

Played 3×3 Basketball for New Zealand at 2018 Youth Olympics in Argentina.

Kiwis in college preview – NCAA Division II Women

Zoe Richards

Zoe Richards

The New Zealand lineup playing NCAA Division II Women’s basketball in 2019/20 is led by 2019 Tall Fern Zoe Richards.

Richards, who also played for Otago Gold Rush in the 2019 Womens Basketball Championship (WBC) alongside sister Brittany, is in her final year at Eckerd College, Florida

Seniors

Georgia Perrott-Hunt (Tiffin University)

Season 18/19 Games 28, Starts 4, Points 142 (5.1ppg), Rebounds 90 (3.2rpg)

The Former Westlake Girls small forward spent two years at Junior College prior to Tiffin.

The older sister of Tall Black Kruz Perrott-Hunt graduated from North Dakota State College of Science in 2018.

Played all 28 games for Tiffin last season.

Georgia P-H

Georgia Perrott-Hunt

Brittany Richards (University of Alaska Fairbanks)

Season 18/19 Games 22, Points 52 (2.4ppg), Rebounds 48 (2.2rpg)

Scored a career best 14 points v Western Oregon last season.

Brittany and twin sister Zoe spent a season at Gillette College after leaving St Hilda’s Collegiate, Dunedin.

Zoe Richards (Eckerd College)

Season 18/19 Games 32, Points 341 (10.7ppg), Rebounds 127 (4.0rpg)

Last season was second on the team in scoring (10.7ppg) and led the Tritons in field goal percentage (55.0%). Named to the Sunshine State Conference All-Tournament team.

Zoe and twin sister Brittany spent a season at Gillette College after leaving St Hilda’s Collegiate, Dunedin.

Made her Tall Ferns debut against Japan in 2019

 

Juniors

Charlotte Armstrong (Barry University, Miami)

Season 18/19 Games 23, Starts 0, Points 54 (2.3ppg), Rebounds 79 (3.4rpg)

The versatile forward out of Epsom Girls Grammar can expect more opportunities in her Junior year. Was second on the Buccaneers shot blocking list last season with 23 including a career best 7 v Florida.

Eva Langton (Texas A&M International)

Prior to Texas A&M the Taranaki Thunder guard attended Western Nebraska Community College. Schooled at St Mary’s Diocesan, Stratford.

Zarya Poulava (University of Mount Olive)

Season 18/19 Games 15, Starts 1, Points 36 (2.4ppg), Rebounds 29 (1.9rpg)

The Hamilton Girls High alumni attended Missouri Western State University for one year prior to Mount Olive.

 

Sophomores

Chanel Brodeur-Muir (St Thomas Aquinas College)

Season 18/19 Games 18, Starts 0, Points 25 (1.4ppg)

Brodeur-Muir finished high school at Westlake Girls having previously attended Kristin School.

Tanaka Gapare (Tuskegee University, Alabama)

Played at Odessa Community College in her freshman year after graduating from Samuel Marsden High School.

Played for the 3×3 Tall Ferns at the 2019 FIBA Asia Cup in China.

Tanaka Gapare

Tanaka Gapare in action for Tall Fern 3×3 team

Freshmen

Madison Hema (Washburn University)

Attended Castle View High School Colorado, dad Matt is a Kiwi who evidently played for the Otago Nuggets.

Played for New Zealand at the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup in Belarus.

Tessa Talo-Tomokino (Northeastern State University)

Graduated from Mt Albert Grammar School.

Played for New Zealand at the 2018 FIBA Asia Cup in India.

 

In addition to ten NCAA Division II Women playing in the States Olivia Bell is attending an NAIA Division I college.

Olivia Bell (Peru State College)

Peru State College, Nebraska play National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division I basketball.

The former Westlake Girls forward has spent the last two years at North Dakota State College of Science.

Breakers numbers including significant milestone for Corey Webster

 

Corey

Some Sky Sport Breakers numbers ahead of round three of the NBL including a significant milestone for Corey Webster.

Debutants

For the second successive season we are likely to see five debutants take to the floor in the opening game against Sydney. Other than the inaugural NBL game the Breakers played back in 2003 against Adelaide five is the highest number of debutants for the Breakers in a single game.

Last season it was Shawn Long, Armani Moore, Majok Majok, Patrick Richard and Jarrad Weeks that debuted on the opening night at Spark Arena against Brisbane.

On Friday it is the turn of Brandon Ashley, RJ Hampton, Sek Henry, Scotty Hopson and Ater Majok take the floor against Sydney Kings.

The five debutants will become Breakers #109 through to #113

Breaker #47 Corey Webster will play game number 200 for the Breakers in the home encounter with Sydney on Sunday.

Currently sitting on 198 games he will become just the sixth player to reach the double century mark for the club after Mika Vukona (354), Tom Abercrombie (303), Paul Henare (250), Alex Pledger (238) and Dillon Boucher (220).

Head Coach Dan Shamir

Dan Shamir becomes the seventh Breakers lead coach following in the footsteps of Jeff Green, Frank Arsego, Andrej Lemanis, Dean Vickerman, Paul Henare and Kevin Braswell.

Also a mention to Zico Coronell who will be sideline for the first time in his new role as Breakers Assistant Coach.

Opening Game of the season.

In their previous 16 season openers the Breakers have won on nine occasions. The percentage win record away from home is even better with three victories and just the one loss. The only time the Breakers have played in Sydney for their season curtain raiser was back in 2010 when former coach Kevin Braswell scored 16 points to lead the Breakers to an 83-70 win.

Kiwis in college preview – NCAA Division I Men

 

Le'afa

Twenty New Zealand men are preparing for the upcoming  NCAA Division I basketball season. This number is up on last season when 17 Kiwis were on Div I scholarships and 33% more than the 15 that played the 2017/18 season.

Below we take a quick look at the twenty players that include Isaac Letoa, Dan Fotu, Kruz Perrott-Hunt, Sam Timmins and Izayah Mauriahooho-Le’afa who have all played for the Tall Blacks.

Seniors

Matt Freeman (UC Santa Barbara)

Season 18/19 Games 32, Starts 0, Points 102 (3.3ppg), Rebounds 47 (1.5rpg)

Freeman has transferred from the University of Oklahoma, after playing 84 games for the Sooners, to UC Santa Barbara for his senior season where it is expected he will enjoy greater court time.

Freeman is one of five former Westlake Boys High School players on NCAA Division I scholarships.

Izayah Mauriahooho-Le’afa (Sacramento State University)

Season 18/19 Games 30, Starts 26, Points 265 (8.8ppg), Rebounds 90 (3.0rpg), Assists 78 (2.6apg)

The former St Pat’s, Wellington point guard enters his senior season with 89 games under his belt for the Hornets. Last season he was a finalist for the Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Scored in double figures 11 times and 15+ on 8 occasions.

Played for the Tall Blacks as a 16-year old back in 2013.

Jackson Stent(Houston Baptist University)

Season 18/19 Games 29, Starts 0, Points 313 (3.1ppg), Rebounds 39 (1.3rpg)

After leaving Middleton Grange School Stent spent two years at Casper College. Last season was his first at Houston Baptist University where he played 29 games scoring a career high 12 points against Arlington Baptist.

Sam Timmins (University of Washington)

Season 18/19 Games 36, Starts 7, Points 265 (8.8ppg), Rebounds 78 (2.2rpg)

The former Otago Boys High School centre has made 101 appearances for the Huskies although his minutes last season (10.4mpg) were well down on 2017/18 when he logged 18 minutes per game.

Played as recently as 2017 for the Tall Blacks playing 12 internationals in total.

Yanni Wetzell (San Diego State University)

Season 18/19 Games 32, Starts 10, Points 190 (5.9ppg), Rebounds 122 (3.8rpg)

After playing all 32 games for Vanderbilt University last season Wetzell has transferred to San Diego State for his senior year. Recorded eight double figure scores last year including two 15 point hauls.

Played two years NCAA Division II at St Mary’s University, Texas before his season at Vanderbilt.

 

Juniors

 Yuat Alok (University of Central Florida)

Season 18/19 Games 10, Starts 0, Points 33 (3.3ppg), Rebounds 25 (2.5rpg)

Alok has had a few moves since his time at Rangitoto College.  His latest is a shift to Central Florida after ending his stay at TCU in mid-season earlier this year following a broken hand. Prior to that he had been a highly touted prospect at Chipola Junior College where at one stage he was rated the #3 prospect by JUCORecruiting.com

Isaac Letoa (Dartmouth College)

Season 18/19 Games 10, Starts 0, Points 14 (1.4ppg), Rebounds 9 (0.9rpg)

The only Kiwi male at an Ivy League university Letoa played for the Tall Blacks as recently as 2018. He has received limited opportunities at Dartmouth playing just 26 games in two seasons to date.

Originally from Wellington Letoa was a standout point guard at Westlake Boys High.

Sam W

Sam Waardenburg (University of Miami)

Season 18/19 Games 32, Starts 11, Points 170 (5.3ppg), Rebounds 113 (3.5rpg), Assists 38 (1.2apg)

The rangy forward has prospered in his first two years with the Hurricanes in the tough ACC Conference playing a total of 53 games averaging 21 minutes per appearance. Played all 32 games last season scoring a career high 14 points in 37 minutes at Penn.

One of three ex Rangitoto College players in Men’s NCAA Division I basketball.

 

Sophomores

Tobias Cameron

 Flynn Cameron (DePaul University)

Season 18/19 Games 28, Starts 0, Points 5.1 (1.8ppg), Rebounds 30 (1.1rpg), Assists 21

Was a member of the Junior Tall Blacks team at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup in Greece.

Played 28 games for the Blue Demons in his freshman year.

Younger brother of Tobias Cameron.

 Tobias Cameron (Abilene Christian University)

Season 18/19 Games 23, Starts 0, Points 19 (0.8ppg), Rebounds 18 (0.8rpg)

The older of the Cameron brothers, father Cameron is Kiwi basketball legend Pero Cameron.

Will be looking to gain more court time for the Wildcats in his second season with after averaging just under four minutes per game in 2018/19.

Quinn Clinton (St Mary’s College, California)

Season 18/19 Games 22, Starts 0, Points 21 (1.0ppg)

 

The former Christchurch Boys High and New Zealand age-group star got little opportunity for the Gaels last season. Hopefully more to come from the sweet shooting guard in 2019/20.

Takiula Fahrensohn (University of Portland)

Season 18/19 Games 15, Starts 0, Points 19 (1.3ppg)

Out of Auckland Grammar School, Portland Assistant Coach Ben Johnson is anticipating a good season from the former Junior Tall Black. “Taki has put on a few pounds and can really shoot the ball.”

Dan Fotu (St Mary’s College, California)

Season 18/19 Games 34, Starts 4, Points 96 (2.8ppg), Rebounds 88 (2.6rpg)

Did well in his first season appearing in all 34 games for the Gaels and made the most starts for a St Mary’s freshman since 2010/11. Scored a season high 16 points against Cal Berkeley.

The former Rangitoto College wing made his Tall Blacks debut in 2018.

Callum McRae (University of California, Riverside)

Season 18/19 Games 32, Starts 17, Points 243 (7.6ppg), Rebounds 154 (4.8rpg)

The former Palmerston North Boys High centre enjoyed an outstanding freshman season for the Highlanders. McRae led the team in rebounds (4.8 per game) and field goal percentage (55.4%).

Scored a career high 20 points and corralled a career best 14 rebounds against  CSUN in February – produced four double-double performances during the season.

Angus McWilliam (University of California, Riverside)

Season 18/19 Games 2, Starts 0, Points 0, Rebounds 3 (1.5rpg)

The former Middleton Grange High School and Junior Tall Black forward has transferred from TCU and in accordance with NCAA rules will redshirt the 2019/20 season.

Played for the Junior Tall Blacks at the 2017 FIBA World Cup.

 

 Freshmen

De geest

 Max de Geest (Long Beach State University)

de Geest spent his final high school years at Christ’s College, Christchurch after movingfrom Waitaki Boys High in Year 11.

He was a Breakers Development Player on 2018/19 and a member of the Junior Tall Blacks team at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup in Greece. In addition played in Buenos Aires at the Youth Olympic Games.

James Moors (Colorado State University)

A Westlake Boys High School standout. Was a member of the Junior Tall Blacks team at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup in Greece and also played in Buenos Aires at the Youth Olympic Games.

 Kruz Perrott-Hunt (University of South Dakota)

 The former Rosmini College guardwas a Breakers Development Player on 2018/19 and a member of the Junior Tall Blacks team at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup in Greece.

Made his Tall Blacks debut against Jordan in the Asia World Cup Qualifier in 2018.

Anzac Rissetto (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

Rissetto played his last two high school years at Auckland Grammar School. Represented New Zealand at the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup in Argentina where the starting centre averaged 6.3 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. Recruited to Charlotte by NZU17 Head Coach Aaron Fearne.

Harrison Young (Texas Christian University)

After completing his studies at Kings College, Auckland he spent two years at Impact Academy in Sarasota, Florida.

The least heralded of the New Zealand Division I players, Young played representative basketball for Auckland during his time at Kings.

Kiwis in College Preview – NCAA Div 1 Women

Tera Reed

The 2019/20 American collegiate season begins shortly an in the first of a number of previews we take a look at the twenty-one New Zealand women that are preparing for the Women’s NCAA Division I basketball season. This number is slightly down on last season when 24 Kiwis were on Division I scholarships, the same number as 2017/18.

Below we take a brief look at the accomplishments of the 21 players, most of whom have played age-group basketball for New Zealand. In the cases of Krystal Leger-Walker, Katelin Noyer, Zara Jillings, Akiene Tera-Reed and Amy West they have also played for the Tall Ferns.

Seniors

Tegan Graham (Colgate University)

Season 18/19 Games 29, Starts 17, Points 222 (7.7ppg), Rebounds 69 (2.4rpg), Assists 63 (2.2apg)

Graham finished the season fourth on the Raiders (12-17) scoring list and third in the assists column. The former Wellington Girls College guard scored a career high 24 points against Army West Point in February – the start of a three-game spell where she scored 20 points or more.

Graham has totaled 425 career points in 68 appearances for Colgate to date.

Krystal Leger-Walker (Washington State University)

Season 18/19 at Northern Colorado. Games 27, Starts 24, Points 240 (8.9ppg), Rebounds 125 (4.6rpg), Assists 148 (5.5apg), Steals 53 (2.0spg)

Having transferred from the University of Northern Colorado Bears to Washington State University Leger-Walker will be obliged to sit out the 2019-20 season in accordance with NCAA rules.

Last season, averaging 37 minutes per game, Leger-Walker was fourth in scoring for the Bears with 240 points. In addition she led the Big Sky Conference in assists averaging 5.5 per game and ranked 5thin steals with 2 per game.

The 2016 Tall Fern played 90 career games for the Bears amassing 564 points and 378 assists. The 21-11 Bears fell at the semi-final stage of the Big Sky Conference Tournament after finishing runners-up in the regular season.

Kayla Manuirirangi (Tulane University)

Season 18/19 Games 30, Starts 20, Points 181 (6.0ppg), Rebounds 50 (1.7rpg), Assists 42 (1.4apg)

The former New Plymouth Girls High standout played all 30 games for the Greenwave finishing fourth in scoring with 181 points, making a season best 17 points against SMU in January. The combo guard has played 88 games for Tulane accumulating 461 career points.

Tulane finished last season with a 15-15 record but a disappointing 5-11 in the American Conference.

Katelin Noyer (Fresno State University)

Season 18/19 Games 10, Starts 1 Points 20 (2.0ppg)

Noyer, the former Westlake Girls forward endured a frustrating, injury ravaged, final year with the Bulldogs.

The 2016 Tall Fern picked up a foot injury on Fresno’s pre-season European tour necessitating several weeks in a moon boot recovering from surgery. She returned for the final ten games of the season but didn’t receive much love from the coach averaging just six minutes per game.

Shalae Salmon (Brigham Young University)

Season 18/19 Games 29, Starts 22, Points 163 (5.6.0ppg), Rebounds 120 (4.1rpg)

Salmon was a key member of the Cougars that won the West Coast Conference Championship beating No 1 seed Gonzaga in the final. The victory took them to the NCAA Tournament where they were defeated in the second round.

Scored a career high 19 points against California Baptist in November. Also in November claimed 10 rebounds against Utah Valley although her career high sits at 17 achieved 12 months earlier.

In her BYU career the former Wellington Girls College forward has accumulated 362 points, 336 rebounds and 59 blocks.

Khaedin Taito (Brigham Young University)

Season 18/19 Games 3

Taito has had an injury plagued two years at BYU. After redshirting in 2016-17 Taito has played just seven games since, three of them this season.

Juniors

 

McKenna Dale (Brown University)

Season 18/19 DNP

 Dale unfortunately missed all of last season due to an ACL injury.

Attended Edwin O Smith High School, Connecticut where Dale was also an accomplished swimmer. Represented the Junior Tall Ferns in 2016.

Heremaia v reed

Kendell Heremaia (Fordham University)

Season 18/19 Games 34, Starts 33, Points 275 (8.1ppg), Rebounds 178 (5.2rpg), Assists 80 (2.4apg).

Heremaia made every post a winner in her second year at Fordham, starting in all but one of Fordham’s games in a season that would see them claim their first Atlantic 10 Championship.

She scored a career high 17 points against Texas in November and pulled down a career best 16 rebounds against St Louis in January. The former St Peter’s, Cambridge dynamo was top 10 in the conference three-point shooting, scoring at 35%.

Joellen How (Wagner College)

Season 18/19 Games 30, Starts 4, Points 84 (2.8ppg), Rebounds 33 (1.1rpg), Assists 30 (1.0apg).

 The former New Plymouth Girls High guard played all 30 games for the Seahawks last season and dished a career high 7 assists against Central Connecticut.

Named to the Northeast Conference Academic Honours Roll in 2018 and 2019.

Zara Jillings (Fordham University)

Season 18/19 Games 34, Starts 4, Points 110 (3.2ppg), Rebounds 91 (2.7rpg), Assists 50 (1.5apg).

 Jillings, the former Westlake Girls guard played all 34 games for the Ramsin a season that saw them claim their first Atlantic 10 Championship.

Played a key role coming off the bench recording the second best field goal percentage on the team (47%) and also made 50 assists.

A member of the Tall Ferns team that won bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

 Michelle Nicholls (University of Purdue, Fort Wayne)

Season 18/19 Games 31, Starts 15, Points 230 (7.4ppg), Rebounds 86 (2.8rpg), Assists 73 (2.4apg).

Nicholls has transferred to Purdue, Fort Wayne after two years at La Salle University.

Played all 31 games for La Salle last season scoring ten or more points on five occasions including a career high 23 points against Rhode Island.

Akiene-Tera Reed (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Season 18/19 Games 31, Starts 31, Points 388 (12.5ppg), Rebounds 169 (5.8rpg), Assists 70 (2.3apg).

Started all 31 games for VCU who went all the way to the Atlantic 10 Championship Final. Reed earned First Team All-Atlantic 10 honours after leading the VCU scoring for a second consecutive season. Finished top ten in the conference from the foul line (79%).

Made her Tall Ferns debut at the William Jones Cup in 2017.

Sophomores

aimee book

Amiee Book (California State University Fullerton)

Season 18/19 Games 29, Starts 7, Points 282 (9.7), Rebounds 124 (4.3rpg), Assists 27 (0.9apg).

After an outstanding freshman season Book was named Big West Conference Sixth Player of the Year. Her 43.2% three-point shooting led the Titans and was the third best three-point shooting season in programme history. Scored a career high 18 points v UC Davis.

 Book attended Waimea College in Nelson before moving to Middleton Grange in Christchurch.

Jade Kirisome (St Mary’s, California)

Season 18/19 Games 33, Starts 1, Points 133 (4.0), Rebounds 58 (1.8rpg), Assists 20 (0.6apg).

Played all 33 games for Furnham University in her freshman season but then transferred to St Mary’s.

Schooled at Brisbane State High School and played for New Zealand at the 2017 FIBA U17 Oceania Championships.

Tsubasa Nisbett (Georgia Southern University)

Season 18/19 Games 13, Starts 0, Rebounds 9, Assists 2.

 The ex-Burnside High School forward had a disrupted freshman year playing just the 13 games for the Eagles.

Named on the Sun Belt Conference Academic Commissioner’s List.

 Pareunora Pene (University of Tennessee Chattanooga)

Season 18/19 Games 11, Starts 0, Points 11, Assists 3.

 The former Rotorua Girls High standout played 11 games in her freshman season for the Mocs and will be aiming for increased court time in her second season.

 Sariah Penese (University of Maryland Baltimore)

Season 18/19 Games 22, Starts 5, Points 27 (1.3), Rebounds 29 (1.8rpg), Assists 16 (0.7apg).

Captained St Mary’s College, Wellington to the Schick Championship title in 2017.  Penese played 22 games last season for the Retrievers and had a season high 5 points against Albany.

 Amy West (St Mary’s College, California)

Season 18/19 Games 20, Starts 0, Points 25 (1.3), Rebounds 23 (1.2rpg), Blocks 5.

West, who made her Tall Ferns debut earlier this year at the William Jones Cup will, in accordance with NCAA regulations, redshirt the 2019-20 season after transferring from Liberty University where she spent her freshman year.

The Palmerston North Girls High forward played 20 games for Liberty Flames last season.

 

Freshmen

 Tara Manumaleuga (University of Arizona in Tucson)

 Attended Hillcrest Christian College in Queensland. Played for New Zealand at the 2018 FIBA World Cup in Belarus.

Kaylee Smiler (BYU)

 Smiler attended Melville High School in Hamilton and played on a number of Waikato championship winning teams. Redshirted at BYU during the 2018/19 season.

Charlotte Whittaker (University of Colorado)

 As a 16 year old Whittaker played for New Zealand Select against China B and has played for a number of New Zealand age-group teams.She averaged 13.8ppg for the Junior Tall Ferns at the Asia Cup in India last year.The 1.90m centre attended St Andrew’s College, Christchurch.

charlotte whittaker

Tall Ferns finish fifth at Asia Cup

Tall Ferns at 17 Asia cup

The Sky Sport Tall Ferns have gone one place better than 2017 at the FIBA Asia Cup in Bangalore, India.

When the two teams met at the previous Asia Cup that year Chinese Taipei beat the Tall Ferns 65-45 to claim fifth place but the placings were reversed on Saturday night, the Tall Ferns winning 71-56.

All 12 players hit the court including a welcome return from illness for Ella Fotu.

Micaela Cocks led the Tall Ferns scoring with 18 points while Kalani Purcell was within a point of a double-double with 9 points and 11 rebounds.

Other scorers for the Tall Ferns were: Nat Taylor 12, Stella Beck 9, Tessa Boagni 7, Ashleigh Karaitiana 7, Ella Fotu 4, Chev Paalvast 3, Charlisse Leger-Walker 2.

Cocks led the New Zealand scoring at the tournament averaging 10.8 points per game, Purcell (7.6rpg) was comfortably the highest rebounder and she also dished the most assists (2.8apg).

Tessa Boagni finished with the best field goal percentage making 14 shots from 35 at 40% and Cocks was the best three-point shooter – 10/26 at 39%. The Tall Ferns veteran was also the best free-throw shooter making all 6 of her shots from the charity stripe.

Full report here