FIBA Hall of Famer and Tall Blacks great Pero Cameron was been named as head coach of the Tall Blacks.

He succeeds his good friend and former teammate Paul Henare, who stepped down as from the role last month.

Cameron enjoyed a stellar career in the black singlet, the third highest cap player in history with 154 games. Only Kirk Penny (175 games) and Mika Vukona (160 games) have more.

Cameron's highlight would have to be the 2002 FIBA World Championship, when the team finished fourth and Cameron was named in the All-Star Five, alongside four NBA superstars.


Since retiring as a player in 2010, 45-year-old Cameron has been constantly involved in coaching at a variety of levels including winning NZ NBL championships with the Wellington Saints (2010, 2011). For the past eight years, has worked as an assistant coach with the Tall Blacks, first under Nenad Vucinic and more recently working with Henare.

"I think back to when I first made the Junior Tall Blacks, I was about 16 or 17 at the time, so it is coming up 30 years representing the black singlet in one way or another," Cameron said.

"When I received the news, I thought about all the coaches I have worked with in that time, all the teammates and all the players that have represented our country. To be able to add to that Tall Black history and bring some more positive moments to that history is exciting, as we chase our goals.

"I am really happy. It has been a long time and a good time in this team and in this environment. I can't wait to get into work with this current group, the players and support staff, and get into the challenges that face us in 2020."

Cameron's appointment is for now, short term, taking the team through to the Tokyo Olympic Games, with his contract covering the February FIBA window with Asian Cup qualifying games against Australia and Guam (both away), and then the Olympic Games repechage tournament in Serbia in June, with the winner only qualifying for Tokyo.

Cameron says he wants the job beyond Tokyo and that for now his focus is solely on the February window and June qualifying tournament, but he does not want his contribution to end there.

"Of course, I want this job longer term, that is something out of my control though. I am just focused on the job at hand, the qualifying window in February and the Olympic qualifying tournament in June. I think all coaches want that long term security, but for now that is the hand I am given, and we will go and take care of business."

Cameron will be supported by current Assistant Coach Ross McMains, who has reconfirmed his commitment to the team for 2020. Any other appointments will be decided and announced a later date.