Basketball: Young star Waardenburg following in Adams' footsteps

Sam Waardenburg, New Zealand U17 National Basketball Squad Headshots. Photo / Photosport
Sam Waardenburg, New Zealand U17 National Basketball Squad Headshots. Photo / Photosport

New Zealand basketball star Sam Waardenburg has been named as one of the top 10 High School performers from the 2016 Adidas Nations staged in Los Angles on Tuesday following in the footsteps of NBA star Steven Adams.

The scouting and analytics website draftexpress.com ranked the 17-year-old forward the ninth best player at the initiative

"From a physical standpoint, Waardenburg has solid tools for an inside-outside four man, especially at the collegiate level," the website said. "He's around 6' 8" in shoes with average length, wide shoulders and proportionate upper and lower body that should fill out really nicely. Although not a freaky leaper, he's very fluid for his size and is able to use that agility, along with his impressive skill set, regularly in the half court.

"At this stage Waardenburg's most intriguing skill is his stretch-ability as he displays excellent shooting mechanics and soft touch out to the college three-point line.

He's on balance, has a clean wrist action, gets good arc and rotation, and has shot 11-for-21 from three in games we have logged in our database. He's not a high volume, dynamic shooter at this point of his career but he shows nice potential as pick and pop threat."

Waardenburg averaged 23.3 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per 40 minutes, while shooting 58.6% from two and 63.6% from three (7-for-11), which led the entire camp.

It was at the same camp in 2011 that Oklahoma City big man Adams first burst to prominence. He would go on to be drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft and this season established himself as one of the most promising players in the NBA.

- NZ Herald

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