The Aon New Zealand Men’s team has been named ahead of the FIBA Under 17 World Cup, to be played in Rasario and Santa Fe, Argentina from 30 June.
The squad shows four changes from the team that finished third at the FIBA Asia Championship in China last month to clinch a spot at the World Cup. Into the line-up comes Auckland centre Anzac Rissetto, Wellington guard Ezrah Vaiagfa and the Canterbury duo of Sam Jenkins and Mac Stoddard.
Head Coach Dave Bublitz is delighted to have finalised the team after the recent selection camp in Rotorua, attended by 20 athletes.
“We added some new concepts that all the players had to deal with, therefore giving the new players coming into camp an equal opportunity. I wanted to make the process as fair possible.
“The selection of the final squad wasn’t easy, but eventually we settled on the four additions.
“Tall Blacks Head Coach Paul Henare and a couple of other coaches with experience attending major tournaments recommended we take three point guards to Argentina. With that in mind, we selected Ezrah to compliment Tom Cowie and Marvin Williams-Dunn in that position.
“Sam Jenkins shot the ball really well and also picked up the new concepts quickly. Both Anzac Rissetto and Mac Stoddard give us some added size. Mac could play as a stretch four or perhaps even a stretch five.
“The team is the first Under 17 men’s group to attend a World Cup, so it is a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved to play against the other best players in the world.
“It’s also exciting on a personal note to test yourself against the best teams and coaches in the world at this age group. I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Bublitz added.
Bublitz and the team will assemble in just over a month’s time on 22 June. They will then head to Buenos Aires for three warm up games.
The tournament will open on 30 June with New Zealand scheduled to play the opening game of the tournament on that day against Egypt in Rosario. New Zealand is drawn in Group C, and will also play Canada and Montenegro in pool play.
Asian champions Australia are in Group A with Puerto Rico, Turkey and Dominican Republic.
Defending champions USA headline Group B alongside China, Mali and Serbia.
Group D contains hosts Argentina plus Croatia, France and the Philippines.
Aon New Zealand U17 boys:
Shalom Broughton, Tauranga Basketball
Tom Cowie, North Harbour Basketball / Southland prior to 2018
Mitchell Dance, North Harbour basketball
Haven Dixon, Wellington Basketball
Sam Jenkins, Canterbury Basketball
Kainoa Lepou, Auckland Basketball
Jake McKinlay, Manawatu Basketball
Harry Payne, West Waitakere Basketball
Anzac Rissetto, Auckland Basketball
Mac Stodart, Canterbury Basketball / Southland prior to 2018
Ezrah Vaiagfa, Wellington Basketball
Marvin Williams-Dunn, Auckland Basketball