13 Sal’s NBL Players Selected In Tall Blacks Squad

In another endorsement of the playing strength in New Zealand’s National Basketball League, a total of 13 Sal’s NBL players have been selected in the 25-player Tall Blacks 'long list' squad for September’s FIBA World Cup in China.
“We have a really good variety of talent across all positions. In the guards we have guys that can play multiple positions and it is the same with our bigs. We also have genuine size which is not something that Tall Black sides have had in the past. We will have genuine contenders and talent that will miss out on this team, that is a luxury to have, albeit a difficult one to manage when it comes time to making those final decisions,” Head Coach Paul Henare said.
Five of the league’s nine teams are celebrating the news of the Tall Blacks announcement, with the Wellington Saints (5), Nelson Giants (3), Hawke’s Bay Hawks (2), Southland Sharks (2) and Canterbury Rams (1) all represented.
“The squad that Coach Paul Henare and his selectors have chosen is a glowing endorsement of the Sal’s NBL, the level of homegrown talent in the league and the fantastic work being done by our teams and their respective coaches,” said League GM Justin Nelson.
“The build-up to the World Cup is always a special time and for all of the fans across the Sal’s NBL the next five weeks and at the Final 4 provides them with a chance to get to games and see so many of this Tall Blacks squad on court playing.”

MBO Tall Blacks Long List 
(final 12 for the World Cup will be chosen from this group)

Guards: Shea Ili (Wellington Saints/NZ Breakers), Tai Webster (Galatasaray), Jarrod Kenny (Bay Hawks/Cairns Taipans), Corey Webster (NZ Breakers), Ethan Rusbatch (Bay Hawks), Taylor Britt (Canterbury Rams), Kruz Perrott-Hunt (Nelson Giants), Taine Murray (Rosmini College)

Small Forwards: Tom Abercrombie (Wellington Saints/NZ Breakers), Jordan Ngatai (Wellington Saints/NZ Breakers), Reuben Te Rangi (Wellington Saints/Brisbane Bullets) 
Dan Fotu (St Mary’s College of California)

Power Forwards: Mika Vukona (Nelson Giants/Brisbane Bullets), Finn Delany (FMP Belgrade/NZ Breakers), Isaac Fotu (Ratiopharm Ulm), Max Darling (Vrijednosnice Osijek), Tom Vodanovich (Southland Sharks), Yanni Wetzell (Vanderbilt University), Tohi Smith-Milner (Melbourne United)

Centres: Rob Loe (Wellington Saints/NZ Breakers), Alex Pledger (Southland Sharks/Melbourne United), Steven Adams (Oklahoma City Thunder), Tyrell Harrison (Nelson Giants/Brisbane Bullets), Yuat Alok (University of Central Florida), Sam Timmins (University of Washington).

(Photo Credit: PhotosportNZ)


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