Basketball New Zealand will be hosting the Japanese Under 16 Girls basketball team next week, with three games lined up to challenge the visitors.
Their first test will be against St Peter’s College, Cambridge. The St Peter’s team are reigning champs from last year’s Schick Championships (the National Secondary Schools Championships) and features talented young Tall Fern Charlisse Leger-Walker.
Japan’s second test, the following day, will be against a team made up of U17 and U19 rep players from North Harbour Basketball. Japan’s final game will be against a team put forward by the Women Basketball Championship’s Auckland Dream.
Basketball New Zealand’s High Performance Director, Leonard King, says after recent discussions with the Japanese Basketball Association, he expects this will be the first of many cooperative projects between the two international basketball federations.
“We have forged very strong ties with the Japanese National Federation and these types of exchanges between the two countries will be occurring more often, not only at the age-group level.
“Japanese women’s basketball is exceptionally competitive. They enjoy an incredibly well-funded women’s high performance programme and many of their senior women players are wholly professional basketballers. Our teams will have a very tough challenge on their hands when they take on what will be a well-prepared Japanese squad,” says King.
The Japan women’s senior side are regular qualifiers for the Olympics and FIBA World Cups, and they are currently the FIBA Asia Champions.
Japan U16 Girls, NZ Tour Roster
2 April: Japan U16 Girls vs St. Peters College, at St Peter’s College Cambridge. Tip off at 5pm (powhiri from 3:30pm)
3 April: Japan U16 vs North Harbour U17 / U19 Rep Team, Eventfinda Stadium. Tip off at 5pm
4 April: Japan U16 vs Auckland Dream, at Epsom Girls Grammar. Tip off 7pm