Basketball New Zealand (BBNZ) is pleased to announce the New Zealand U23 3×3 teams playing in next month’s FIBA 3×3 U23 Nations League for the first time.
The New Zealand U23 3×3 Women’s squad includes Lauryn Hippolite, Tsubasa Nisbet, Olivia O’Neill, Sharne Pupuke-Robati and Rosalia Samia, and will be led by 3×3 Tall Ferns head coach Justine Reed.
Hippolite and Pupuke-Robati recently played for the 3×3 Tall Ferns in the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup, while O’Neill, Nisbet and Samia are set to make their national team debuts. Hippolite, Samia and O’Neill all impressed in the recent 3×3 Tertiary Champs, earning a spot on the All-Tournament team.
The New Zealand U23 3×3 Men’s squad features Ben Carlile-Smith, Daniel Dobson, Tyler Herbert, Tanae Lavery and Aidan Tonge, and will be helmed by 3×3 Tall Blacks head coach Piet van Hasselt.
Tonge was part of the 3×3 Tall Blacks squad that featured in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers earlier this month, while Lavery, Herbert, Dobson and Carlile-Smith will be making their national team debuts. Herbert in particular was a stand-out in the 3×3 Pro Quest Tour earlier this year, earning two MVP honours at one of the stops. And Tonge and Dobson earned All-Tournament team honours at the 3×3 Tertiary Champs earlier this month.
The FIBA 3×3 Nations League is comprised of 57 National Federations and 11 different conferences. Each conference has six one-day events which includes daily pool play and a final, with teams earning tour standing points after each one-day event. The best-ranked team in the standings after the sixth day are declared winners of their conference and qualify for the 2023 FIBA 3×3 Nations League final in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on 13-15 September.
Both the New Zealand U23 3×3 Men’s and Women’s squads will compete in the Asia-Oceania Conference – which is held in the Rizhao Shi, Shandong, China from 2-8 June – where they will compete in six stops over six days of action. Joining New Zealand in this conference will be the National 3×3 teams from China, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia and Singapore.
BBNZ High-Performance 3×3 Programmes Manager, Nikolay Mikhalchuk says this tournament is an important part of BBNZ’s 3×3 plans on the world stage.
“The benefits of our participation at this level include an increase in ranking points for our 3×3 international teams. This is vital as we aim to improve our FIBA rankings, which will in turn increases our chances of qualifying for major FIBA 3×3 tournaments such as the Regional and World Cups and the Olympics qualifying tournament,” says Mikhalchuk.
“It’s also a great opportunity for younger players to gain experience on the world stage, giving them a taste of what it’s like to play against international size and talent in the 3×3 setting. It’s a great test of their skills and only helps them to grow as players. U23 age group is ideal for our 3×3 needs as it creates a clear transition to 3×3 Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns”.
Mikhalchuk says that the 3×3 Pro Quest Tour, held earlier this year, has been an important pathway for unearthing new Kiwi 3×3 talent.
“All of these players across the two squads were part of the 3×3 Pro Quest Tour, so we were able to evaluate them and their potential early. Herbert and Dobson have been a real find for us, they both impressed at the Pro Quest Tour and now have made it into the U23 New Zealand team. We’ll be excited to see how they perform on the international stage for the first time.”
The New Zealand U23 3×3 Men’s and Women’s squads travel to China next week for the FIBA 3×3 U23 Nations League. Follow the teams at https://nationsleague.fiba3x3.com/2023/rizhao-asia-oceania-stop1
New Zealand U23 3×3 Squad – Women:
Head Coach: Justine Reed
New Zealand U23 3×3 Squad – Men:
Head Coach: Piet van Hasselt