19 - 24
August 2019
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Planells: ''It's more than just the games''

Paita (New Caledonia) - New Zealand Women's Head Coach Hernando Planells hails the FIBA U17 Oceania tournament and believes that the experience the teams builds in the competition is immeasurable for their development.

The former Associate Head Coach for the Duke Blue Devils women's basketball team compared the challenges of his U17 New Zealand squad to his NCAA wards.

"I can see the similarities of this tournament to an NCAA team going on road games. It's about learning to be comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. Not sleeping on your own bed, eating different kinds of food, different environment," said the former NBA D-League Head Coach.

"It teaches them to be adaptable and to be ready for any kind of situation they are in," he added.

The founder of Be Contagious Leadership Development, Planells also commended the pathway of the FIBA Youth competitions, especially in the Oceania region.

"I love how the pathway to the FIBA U19 World Cup is a 3-year journey that starts with the FIBA Oceania competitions. The team will grow together and will create bonds that will hopefully last for a lifetime," he shared.

Despite the huge victories of New Zealand over their Island nation counterparts, Planells has nothing but appreciative thoughts on their opponents.

"It's inspiring to see the determination our opponents have shown despite the tremendous odds they are against. The talent is there, and I believe as long as they continue to compete against the tougher level of competition and continue to develop their programs, they will improve," he humbly shared.