The New Zealand Under 16 boys basketball team and the New Zealand Select Under 16 boys team have been named. These teams will travel to Australia in June and July to take on some of Australia's top junior teams.
New Zealand Under 16 Boys Head Coach, Zico Coronel, says the team was selected following a comprehensive trial process beginning in December comprising of four national camps.
"As a coaching staff Morgan [Maskell], Danny [Page], and Manager Manu Hoque and I believe that the prolonged timeframe has allowed the boys to make major improvements. The team looks quite different now than if wed had selected it earlier owing to the outstanding work done by many athletes with their local coaches leading to huge improvements. It was a difficult selection with so many boys performing at a high level, however after much discussion as a coaching staff and film study, we are very pleased with our squads and the quality of the reserves should they be required.
"We are fortunate to have skilled and intelligent players who, more importantly, are young men of very high character. This is a testament to the young men themselves, their parents, their wider whanau and their coaches in their local areas, at representative, school and at an individual level."
The teams will be preparing for two different pinnacle events in 2017. The New Zealand Under 16 Boys team will prepare for the Australia Junior Champs on 4 to 16 July in Sterling, Australia. The New Zealand Select Under 16 boys team will prepare for the Medibank Classic, held in Melbourne 8 - 13 June. Coach Coronel says prior to the pinnacle events, they will be looking to develop certainty and confidence in the teams' skill sets, understandings of the game and systems.
"The two teams have quickly become a very close group, so we will continue to operate as one large whanau celebrating each others success as much as possible. The May camp will be a joint camp but, as the two pinnacle events are quite far apart in terms of the dates, the final preparation camps will be separate.
"In terms of the competition we are primarily concerned with our own culture and our own play. We are working to become great basketball players and great basketball teams in our own right. If we can achieve this, Ill be pleased and we will see how the results turn out at the two strong tournaments that are the Under 16 State Champs and the Medibank Classic," says Coach Coronel.
New Zealand Under 16 Boys Team:
- Robert Coman - Basketball Auckland
- Cian Emery - North Harbour Basketball
- Samuel Jenkins - Canterbury Basketball Association
- Taine Murray - North Harbour Basketball
- Obadaiah Paea - Waitakere West Auckland Basketball Inc.
- Harrison Payne - Waitakere West Auckland Basketball Inc.
- Mac Stodart - Southland Basketball Association
- Okirano Tilaia - Canterbury Basketball Association
- Reihana Topia - North Harbour Basketball
- Ezrah Vaigafa - Wellington Basketball Association
New Zealand Select Under 16 Boys Team:
- Terence Abdon - North Harbour Basketball
- Dominic Chen - North Harbour Basketball
- Maximus Curry - Nelson Basketball Association
- Finn de Hamel - Nelson Basketball Association
- Misinale Fifita - North Otago Basketball Association
- Joshua Kooiman - North Harbour Basketball
- Xzavia Mason - Palmerston North Basketball Association
- Thomas Morgan - North Harbour Basketball
- Connor Ngan - Basketball Auckland
- Michael Ruske - Basketball Otago
Reserves (for both teams):
- Lain Haku - Counties-Manukau Basketball Association
- YuQing Jiang - Basketball Hawkes Bay
- Umuumu Kaufusi - Wellington Basketball Association
- Jack Pinder - Palmerston North Basketball Association
- Kopere Tanoa - Palmerston North Basketball Association
- Zico Coronel - Head Coach
- Morgan Maskell - Assistant Coach
- Danny Page - Assistant Coach
- Manu Hoque - Manager
U16 Camp | 18 - 21 January | Auckland
U16 Camp | 23 - 26 February | Auckland
U16 Camp | 26 - 29 April | Auckland
U16 Camp | 19 - 21 May | Auckland
NZ Under 16 A Camp | 6 - 7 June | Auckland
NZ Select Tour | Medibank Classic | 8 - 13 June | Melbourne
NZ Under 16 Camp | 22 - 25 June | Auckland
Under 16 Australia Junior Champs | 6 - 16 July | Perth