Kenny a reluctant withdrawl from Tall Blacks tour

Kenny a reluctant withdrawl from Tall Blacks tour

Today saw a late change to the touring roster for the Tall Blacks upcoming campaign and FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, with Jarrod Kenny replaced by Derone Raukawa. Kenny has reluctantly withdrawn from the tour due to an ongoing health issue.


Tall Blacks Head Coach Paul Henare says it is a blow to lose someone of Kenny’s stature in the team, but is determined that the team will not lose focus.


“I have been in touch with Jarrod for a few weeks now and it was becoming apparent that he would not be in a position to travel with us this week. The priority right now is for him to get healthy and return to training, he has made the right call and was given as much time as he needed to do so.


“We will miss Jarrod’s leadership and his ability to influence and control the pace of a game, but this is an opportunity for a young player in Derone to come in and test himself at another level, he is a great student of the game and has enjoyed a productive season with the Sharks and is hugely excited about this opportunity. We have quality players capable of playing in the one spot, with Tai Webster, Shea Ili and Corey Webster all comfortable in that rotation.”


Kenny was hugely disappointed that he is unable to travel but made the call for both his own welfare and that of the team.


“I have had a stomach issue for a few weeks now, while it is yet to be fully diagnosed it is feeling like something I experienced about ten years ago. I had thought about coming on tour and ‘toughing it out’, but that would not be doing myself or the team justice. If you are going to commit to the Tall Blacks, you have to be prepared to give all you have and I know I am just not going to be 100% for some time, which would not be fair on my team mates or the black singlet.”

The team assembles in Auckland on Tuesday, departing Wednesday for a tour that includes visits and games in Japan, China, Latvia and Lithuania before arriving in Manila for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament from July 5 to 10.

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