Tauranga City Basketball's Briarley Rogers is part of the New Zealand Under-17 Women's team en route to India ahead of the Fiba U16 Women's Asian Championship.
The championships begin on Sunday in Bangalore and double as the Under-17 Women's Basketball World Cup qualifiers. The top four teams will qualify for that World Cup, to be played in Minsk, Belarus next year.
New Zealand have been drawn in Group A alongside Australia, Korea and Chinese Taipei. Their opening game will be a tough ask as they face off against Oceania rivals Australia on Sunday at 6.30pm (NZT).
Once pool play is completed, the Group A teams will cross over with the Pool B teams in the quarter-final matchups. Pool B is made up of three-time champions China, Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong.
Tall Ferns trialist Charlisse Leger-Walker will lead New Zealand fresh off a 48-point MVP performance for St Peter's School, Cambridge in the final of the Schick AA Secondary Schools Championships.
Leger-Walker has had overseas international experience this year as a member of the New Zealand Under-18 team at the Oceania Championships in Guam in July. The 16-year-old guard led the Kiwi scoring at that tournament, averaging 15.5 points per game.
Schick AA Tournament Team members Ella Bradley and Sharne Pupuke-Robati are also in the 12, as is Schick 'A' Tournament MVP Isabelle Cook from Opunake High School in Taranaki.
Rogers (Aquinas College) was also named in the Schick A Tournament Team alongside Cook.
Five of the team will be making their international debuts, including Kyra Paniora from Queensland, the only overseas-based player in the squad, and Under-17 Aon Nationals MVP Tayla Dalton.
Head Coach Lori McDaniel is excited about the challenge ahead.
"Being the first New Zealand age-group team to play in an Asia Championship is exciting in its own right. Then if you add in the factor of playing in India and the unknowns that creates, it provides added stimulus and intrigue," he said.
"We have prepared well prior to travelling, but the real work will commence when we arrive in Bangalore. We will have four days of acclimatisation and training ahead of the opening game of the tournament against Australia.
"By then we will have been together for over a week and the girls and coaching staff will be itching to play a game."