Max Darling (Canterbury) | 2018

Max Darling was a member of the Junior Tall Blacks that finished second at the 2018 FIBA U18 Asia Championship in Bangkok. That second place qualified NZ for the FIBA U19 World Cup in Greece later this year. Max scored 20 points in the final against Australia and averaged 13 points and 6 rebounds during the tournament.

He was named MVP at the U19 National Championship, where he led the Waitaha Canterbury team to the national title. Max finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds in the grand-final victory over Manawatu.

Max was a key member of the 2018 Canterbury Rams team and was rewarded for his efforts by being named the Sal’s NBL 2018 Rookie of the Year after averaging 9.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.

Those performances were noted by Tall Blacks coach Paul Henare and Max was invited to the Tall Blacks Selection Camp that followed the Sal’s NBL season.

He earned his first professional contract in 2018, signing to play for Osijek in Croatia where he has been playing since last October.