With secondary school basketball underway, College Sport Media has put together a list of promising players from around the country. Find out more about some of the talented Auckland students identified as ones to watch this season.
Sharne Pupuke-Robati (Mount Albert Grammar School)
The New Zealand U17 rep was a key figure in MAGS’ drive to the 2016 National final which they lost competitively to St Peter’s Cambridge. A robust defender, swift ball handler and good shoot, MAGS will build their 2018 team around Pupuke-Robati and should be a genuine contender for the title in Auckland.
Mitchell Dance (Rosmini College)
Dance wasn’t even supposed to go to the Nationals last year after injuring his ankle in Rosmini’s Zone I success. However the New Zealand U17 guard is made of tough stuff and showed his exceptional quality by winning National MVP as Rosmini won the title for the first time since 2011. Dance top scored for his team in the final collecting 26 points and 10 rebounds. Dance toured China with the NZ Under-17’s recently helping New Zealand gain a place at the World Championships. Dance well be will supported by his New Zealand Under-17 teammate Kruz Perrott-Hunt who is quick across the floor and boasts superior passing skills. On Friday night in Rosmini’s first meeting against National runners-up Rangitoto College, Perrott-Hunt scored 31 points.
Ethan Mandeno (Rangitoto College)
Rangitoto had just one survivor from the 2017 Grand Final when they played their opponent in that fixture against Rosmini College for the first time on Friday night. Rosmini scored a commanding 110-59 victory, but loan survivor Mandeno did manage 25 points and is shaping as a key figure for a rebuilding Rangitoto. Mandeno will soon be rejoined by New Zealand U17 representative Logan McIntosh who was a Nationals tournament team selection last year. Rangitoto have been to the last three National finals, winning twice and it’s only May.
Tom Cowie (Westlake Boys’ High School)
The point guard has been selected to be a part of the Breakers Academy and moved from Southland Boys’ High School at the start of the year. Cowie a New Zealand U17 representative had already had an NBL game for the Southland Sharks.
NZ U15 Squads Selected
The 2018 New Zealand Under 15 boys and girls national basketball squads have been selected after a Basketball New Zealand age-group selection camp in April.
Both Under 15 teams will represent New Zealand at the 2018 FIBA Oceania Championships in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, in December.
Click here to see the squad lists.