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Cameron back to lead Tall Blacks into the new era
AUCKLAND (New Zealand) - New Zealand legend Pero Cameron is back to lead the New Zealand Men's team into the new era to help the Tall Blacks qualify for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup and 2024 Paris Olympics.
And this early, a concrete roadmap to those destinations has already been cut out for the Tall Blacks seeking resurgence in world basketball.
That long and winding path will under arguably the most decorated Kiwi basketball player of all time, Cameron, who inherited the reins from Paul Henare following the latter's resignation.
“It’s an honor to be named head coach of the team that means more to me than any other. I have dedicated my adult life to the black jersey, and I am immensely proud to be taking the next step in my Tall Blacks journey," said Cameron, who played for NZ national team from 1993-2010.
Cameron's historic national team stint for the Tall Blacks included a vital role in their Semi-Final appearance in the FIBA World Championships in 2002 while making it to the All-Tournament squad.
Later on, he was also inducted as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2011 before being enshrined in the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2017, as the first New Zealander in history.
Cameron transitioned to coaching since then, becoming the Tall Blacks assistant coach from 2011 and interim head coach in 2019.
The work for the Tall Blacks starts with the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers in November.
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“The world is in a challenging space right now, and we will do our best to navigate the path to FIBA World Cup 2023 and the 2024 Olympic Games as best we can," he vowed.
“I look forward to working with a dedicated staff and a group of world-class players as we take the Tall Blacks where we need to go,” he added.
New Zealand is grouped with South Korea, India, and World Cup host Philippines in Group A of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualification slated to run for six windows and 15 months until the event proper in 2023.
The Tall Blacks will begin their first window campaign in November against India before taking on South Korea and the Philippines in the second window in February 2022.
Six slots will be at stake in the qualifiers for the World Cup for the Asia-Oceania region.