New Zealand’s sights firmly set on FIBA U18 Oceania Championships Gold
WELLINGTON (FIBA U18 Oceania Championships 2016) - The New Zealand (NZL) Men's and Women's U18 teams are determined to earn spots in the FIBA U19 World Championships 2017.
Players from last year's FIBA U17 World Championships qualification campaign are heavily featured in this year's rosters. Neither of the 2015 squads were able to qualify for Worlds but they won't be caught licking their wounds, NZL will be looking to knock Australia off top spot to claim Gold and this years qualifying spot.
With six (6) Women's players returning from 2015, New Zealand will be a formidable opponent for anyone at this year’s tournament.
2015 FIBA U16 Oceania Championship for Women standouts Charlisse Leger-Walker (14 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3 assists per game) and Tiarna Clarke (12.3 points and 1.5 assists per game) will be leading by example while Charlotte Whittaker (9.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game) and Nicole Ruske (8.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game) look to build on their solid performances from a year ago.
|New Zealand roster for FIBA U18 Women's Oceania Championship 2016|
|Tiarna Clarke||McKenna Caroline Dale||Aliyah Maryanne Heneriata Dunn||Darci Amelia Finnigan|
|Kendell Mari Heremaia||Alyssa Hope Hirawani||Joellen Elaine How||Zara Megan Jillings|
|Charlisse Trinity Leger-Walker||Esra Lisa McGoldrick||Stirling Te Waiarani Jacqueline Walker Pitman||Bayley Te Paea Ransfield|
|Akiene Tera Reed||Nicole Samantha Ruske||Charlotte Elizabeth Rose Whittaker|
The New Zealand Men's team is still very much a mystery, the initial selection list has been announced (see below) but this is still subject to change with various talent identification camps still being conducted. One such camp took place this past weekend in Gold Coast Australia, U18 Men's Head Coach Michael Fitchett and U18 Women's Head Coach Jody Cameron conducted a high performance camp to assess Australian-based New Zealand talent for potential future national team representation.
The New Zealand Men's final roster is yet to be confirmed but the initial players list is jam packed with experience and talent. Twenty-Four (24) players are still in contention to make the final roster. Of the players on this list, ten (10) have represented New Zealand at past FIBA events.
Quinn Clinton led the team in points and assists (17.3 points and 4.8 assists per game) at the 2015 FIBA U16 Oceania Championship for Men, with his supporting cast of Daniel Fotu (13.5 points per game) and Taane Te Kira Samuel (11.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game) the New Zealand Men are already looking tough to beat.
Then potentially throw 3x3 star and past junior and senior national team representative Tai Wynyard into the mix and teams should be worried. Wynyard has not only been a part of the last two FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships, winning gold and second top scoring for the tournament in 2015, but he also was a part of the senior New Zealand Men’s team that took on Australia in the 2015 FIBA Oceania Championship series.
|New Zealand roster for FIBA U18 Oceania Championship 2016|
|Joshua Michael Aitcheson||Samson Egunoroghene Aruwa||Samuel Oghenekevwe Aruwa||Flynn Macpherson Cameron|
|Tobias Macpherson Cameron||Quinn Nicholas Clinton||Takiula Weston Whetu Farensohn||Daniel Joeli Fotu|
|Michael John Te Oranga O'Brien Gardner||Toby Michael Gillooly||Sione Kuli Helu||Brayden Wynne Inger|
|Corey John Fiti Le'aupepe||Isaac Kobe Letoa||Hamish Henry Stewart McDonald||Callum Joseph McRae|
|Angus Lachlan McWilliam||Thane Neville O'Leary||Taane Te Kira Samuel||Liam James Thornton|
|Kaeleb Deron Tyner||Samuel Douglas Waardengurg||Connor Matthew Woodbridge||Tai Hikuroa Wynyard|
With so much talent in this year's tournament, it's one not to miss.