Three players with local connections have been named among the former Tall Blacks and NBL stars in a HoopNation New Zealand Selection team to play Malaysia at Springvale Stadium on July 25.
The team will face the Malaysians in the third game of the six match tour, and again in Hawera at the TSB Hub the following night.
This includes Matt Te Huna, Akira Marsters and Matangirei Hipango. Te Huna, who has Whanganui family, is a veteran of the Manawatu Jets and Hawke's Bay Hawks in the NBL, finishing his time with the Hawks after last season due to commuting from Manawatu.
Marsters is a former Nelson Giant in the NBL and toured the United States with the NZ Impact under-23 team, while Hipango has been based at Manukura School in Palmerston North, which made last year's national secondary schools championship playoffs.
Also in the team are former Tall Blacks Paora Winitana and Everard Bartlett, both also veterans of the NZ Breakers and other Australian NBL teams.
Others to watch are Taranaki Mountainairs player Emmerson Potts-Broughton, Alabama's former multiple NBL winner Kareem Johnson and Tauranga's Jayden Bezzant, a former New Zealand under-18 representative on scholarship to a college in Idaho.
The Malaysia tour starts in Auckland on Friday.
The HoopNation team is:
Paora Winitana (Captain, Hawke's Bay), Everard Bartlett (Hawke's Bay), Ana Haku (North Harbour), Emmerson Potts-Broughton (Hawera), Kareem Johnson (Alabama, US), Jayden Bezzant (Tauranga), Jack Neale (Tauranga), Akira Marsters (Whanganui), Matt Te Huna (Whanganui), Matangirei Hipango (Whanganui), Haz Williams (Auckland), Danyon Tana (Whangarei).
Coach: Byron Vaetoe. Assistant: Ray Cameron.