When the Schick 3X3 Cup tips off tonight at 6:30pm, two New Zealand Select teams will be taking on some of the regions’ top NBL talent.
Featuring eight future stars, the NZ Select teams are development squads pulled together by Basketball New Zealand’s 3X3 Head Coaches and High Performance staff. The goal is to increase depth of talent and expose players to the new and competitive world of 3X3 hoops.
The women’s NZ Select team rosters Jessica Moors, Tanaka Gapare, Tiarna Clarke and Melika Samia, and is coached by Justine Reed. The men’s roster lists Denhym Brooke, Dane Brooks, Sam Aruwa and Pafe Momoisea, and is coached by Piet Van Hasselt.
High Performance Director Leonard King says 3X3 is a high priority for BBNZ, with the 2022 Commonwealth Games being the next pinnacle event.
“We have had great success on the International stage winning World Championships. Having 3×3 included in the Olympics has taken the sport to a whole new level. Our focus is on developing a 3×3 High Performance program with an inclusive and dynamic player pathway. We want to create an environment where our 3×3 players and coaches will thrive and have continued success at pinnacle event.”
The new 3X3 Schick Cup adds to other competitive New Zealand events like the 3X3 Quest Tour Final (a qualifier for a FIBA World Tour event), the 3X3 Tertiary Nationals, and the recently developed 3X3.EXE league. King says the NBL has shown great innovation in creating a new product and adding an additional high-performance environment on home soil.
“We are absolutely thrilled to see another elite level 3X3 competition being here. It’s a massive challenge for our best 3X3 players to be exposed to high level competition on a regular basis, so we welcome these types of tournaments being held in New Zealand.”
New Zealand 3X3 representatives like Hyrum Harris, Taane Samuel, Nikau McCullough, Sam Timmins and Josh Aitcheson will be mixing it up with other NBL Showdown stars like Jordan Hunt, Marcel Jones, Isaac Davidson, Dom Kelman Poto and Kane Keil. Tall Black legend Alex Pledger will be there for the Sharks. The Hawks are powered up with Tall Blacks Ethan Rusbatch, Everard Bartlett, Derone Raukawa, plus NBL Showdown star Taane Samuel.
Especially keep an eye out for the Airs featuring Aaron Bailey-Nowell, Tom Allen, Karl Noyer – this trio plays 3X3 regularly and have represented New Zealand together including at the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup last year, and they’ve brought in FIBA U18 World Cup MVP Tai Wynyard for good measure!
On the women’s side, many of the players who feature in the Sky Sport Tall Ferns Showcase return. It’s tough to pick who might dominate with talented ballers spread throughout. Names like Arielle Williams-Mackey, Matangiroa Flavell, Kayla Manuirirangi, Zoe Richards and Aleisha Ruske feature. The Harbour Breeze side is stacked with Brooke Blair, Gabriella Fotu, Ashleigh Kelman-Poto, Jazzmyne Kailahi-Fulu. And a special mention for Tall Fern legend Lisa Wallbutton returning for the Otago Gold Rush.
The point? Simply that the NZ Select teams will have their hands full. They’ll also see that 3X3 is very different – the event slogan ‘Fast, furious and physical’ sums it up perfectly. King says not everyone can transition from 5X5 with ease.
“3×3 is a different version of the sport! 3×3 can be compared to sprinting up Baldwin street in Dunedin while wrestling someone. It is an anaerobic sport and very physical.
“We are creating a specialized pathway for players who want to play this version of the sport.
“Ultimately our goal at every pinnacle competition is to medal and the Olympics is no different. We feel that New Zealand’s four best basketball players – men and women – can compete with any country in the World. We don’t see a huge gap skill wise, athletically or competitively, when we compare our best with the World’s best,” says King.
While the New Zealand Select teams will be up against it, BBNZ’s two 3X3 Head Coaches will be tasked with aiming high, but essentially giving their players a taste of what this sport holds. They won’t be the only ones either, with 18 other teams representing their region and battling for national titles. King says he’ll be watching.
“The best about the 2020 3×3 Schick Cup is that every game will be aired live on Sky Sport, not only will I be watching all of the action but I would encourage all sports fans to tune in to watch some fast furious and physical games. I also have to mention that it is also exciting to have Schick sponsor the event; corporate sponsorship and support is critical in growing the game here in New Zealand,” says King.
Schick 3×3 Cup – Further information
- The Schick 3X3 Cup will be held at ILT Stadium Southland from Thursday 12 November to Saturday 14 November.
- Tickets and entertainment packages are available for all sessions at Ticketek. Adults from $16 and juniors from $8.
- All games broadcast live on SkySport 3. See the full schedule here – all game times are indicative and subject to change.
- TAB favourites.
- Ten women to watch for.
- Women’s teams.
- Ten men to watch for.
- Men’s teams.
- Know the rules of 3X3? More here.
- Fans can follow the Schick 3X3 Cup action on the Sal’s NBL website and by following @NZNBL on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. #Schick3X3Cup