Kiwi Ballers Worldwide: Junior College Men’s and Women’s

Next up we turn our attention to the Kiwi men and women who are currently playing Junior College basketball in the US – with 21 women (15 sophomores and 6 freshmen) and 12 men (6 sophomores and 6 freshmen) currently in these ranks*


Junior College Women 2022-23


Rosie Campbell – Sophomore at Southeast Community College

A combo guard, Campbell graduated from Queen Margaret College in Wellington in 2019. The former Hutt Valley guard is in her second season at Southeast CC.

Hayley Dawson – Freshman at Jamestown Community College

The freshman guard played for Rotorua and Tauranga associations, before heading to New York to play at Jamestown.

Parehuia Delamere – Sophomore at Western Texas College

A former North Harbour guard, Delamere led the Westerners in steals in 2021-22 and was also fourth in scoring with a 7.9 ppg average.

Tikara Jallow – Freshman at Utah State Eastern

The former Mt Roskill Grammar School and Auckland representative player played for the Cook Islands at the FIBA U17 Oceania Championship in 2019, averaging 10 points per game.

Samantha Jenkins – Sophomore at Dawson Community College

Out of Nelson, guard Jenkins played at Nayland College before transferring to Queen Margaret College in Wellington to conclude high school. She played 28 games 2021/22, making 22 starts and was third on the team in scoring (11.2ppg) and third in assists with 58.

Waiata Jennings – Freshman at Collin College

The Rotorua representative player finished her high school career at St Peter’s School, Cambridge winning a Secondary Schools National Championship in 2019 and being named to the Tournament Team. In 2021, Jennings led the Rotorua Lady Geysers to the D-League title.

Zaaliyah Kailahi-Fulu – Freshman at Grayson Community College

The former St Mary’s Ponsonby and Harbour player begins her collegiate career at Grayson College in Texas. She played for New Zealand at the 2018 FIBA U15 Oceania Championship in Papua New Guinea.

Leah Mafua – Sophomore at Dodge City Community College

Mafua played alongside her sister Jenna Rose at Otero College in 2020-21. She will suit up for Dodge City this season after sitting out 2021-22. She earned NJCAA All-American honourable mention after impressively averaging 18.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game at Otero.

Jenna Rose Mafua – Sophomore at Dodge City Community College

Hutt Valley guard Jenna Rose played alongside sister Leah at Otero College in her freshman year. She played all 32 games for Dodge City in 2021-22 with 30 starts – averaged 8.3 ppg.

Maclani Michael – Sophomore at Utah State Eastern

Coming out of Avondale College in Auckland, Michael played all 30 games last season, making 11 starts and averaging 7.1 ppg for Utah State.

Sydney Neale – Freshman at Dyersberg Community College

The Waikato and Hamilton Girls High guard played for New Zealand at the 2022 FIBA U18 Asian Championship in India.

Alana Paewai – Freshman at Eastern Arizona Community College

Paewai was named to the New Zealand U18 team in 2022. She is a multiple championship winner with the St Peter’s College Cambridge and Waikato representative teams.

Ella Paleaae-Cook – Sophomore at Miles Community College

Hailing from the Southern Districts club in Brisbane, Paleaae-Cook played for New Zealand at the 2019 FIBA U17 Oceania Championships in New Caledonia.

Brooklyn Pouwhare – Sophomore at Utah State Eastern

The former Avonside Girls High, Christchurch forward, Pouwhare played 19 games for the Utah State Eagles in the 2021-22 season.

Briarley Rogers – Sophomore at Weatherford College)

The Tauranga City Basketball guard started all 24 games for the Coyotes in 2020-21 and 9 of 19 last season. She has shot from downtown at a team-high 40% (56/140) over the past two seasons.

Waiaaria Rogers – Sophomore at Marshalltown Community College

Rogers, a former Harbour and Rangitoto College shooting guard, returns to Marshalltown for her second season – after playing all 30 games and 18 starts the previous season.

Rashaan Smith – Sophomore at Western Nebraska College

After getting little opportunity at Dawson College, Smith transferred to Western Nebraska for the 2021-22 season. The move proved a success as Western Nebraska went all the way to the National Championship semi-final.

Te Araroa Sopoaga – Sophomore at Cloud Community College

Having spent 2020 at Otago University and played for the Otago Gold Rush, the Queen Margaret College alumni had an outstanding freshman year at Cloud CC. Starting all 31 games, she finished  the season leading the team in rebounding (8.1rpg), assists (3.7apg) and blocks (1.4bpg) and was second in scoring (12.6ppg).

Safena Te Nana-Williams – Sophomore at Midland College, Texas

Played her freshman season alongside twin sister Leata at Central Maine CC  – just as the pair did, with great success, at St Mary’s College, Ponsonby.

Leata Te Nana-Williams – Sophomore at Hutchinson Community College

Te Nana-Williams played with twin sister Safena at Central Maine CC in her freshman year in 2021-22.

Te Oriwa Tuipulotu – Sophomore at Ranger Community College

Out of Gisborne Girls High she completed secondary school at Rotorua Girls High School. Played her freshman season at Cloud Community College.



Junior College Men 2022-23


Jake Banks – Freshman at Southeast Community College

Hailing from St Thomas College in Christchurch, Banks was a member of the Canterbury U17 National Championship-winning squad in 2021.

Enda Brennan – Freshman at Southeast Community College

The freshman forward is a product of both Riccarton College and Canterbury Basketball.

Boston Caldwell – Freshman at Central Maine Community College

Caldwell come out of Westlake Boys and Harbour Basketball; he was also a member of the extended Auckland Tuatara squad in NBL 2022.

Jacob Craig – Freshman at Southeast Community College

Craig will suit up alongside Enda Brennan at Southeast this season; he is also formerly of St Thomas College in Christchurch where he played alongside Jake Banks.

Dallas Clayton – Sophomore at Missouri State University West Plains

The rangy centre played for Wellington in the 2021 U19 Championships National Final and for his native North Harbour in the 2022 U23 National Final. This is his second season at Missouri State.

Oliver Hayward – Sophomore at Midland College

The former Northcote College standout is now in his second season at Midland – averaged 9.1 points and 4.5 rebounds across 29 games in his freshman season.

Matariki Kapea – Freshman at Bakersfield College

A former Hutt Valley High School guard, Kapea trained with the Wellington Saints in 2021 before heading to California for junior college.

Finn Lally – Freshman at Trinidad State College

Hailing from Waikato Basketball and St John’s College, Lally linked up with the Trojans midway through the 2021/22 season. He played for New Zealand at the 2019 FIBA U17 Oceania Championships in New Caledonia.

Kiani Saxon – Sophomore at Louisiana State University, Eunice

Saxon played for the Auckland Huskies in 2021 and also represented Harbour at U23 Nationals. The former Liston College forward will be playing his second season for the Bengals.

Leo Wenham – Sophomore at Southeast Community College

Wenham played for Harbour U19’s in 2021 and U23’s in 2022. Hailing from Rosmini College, the 6’7” forward is in his second season with Southeast Storm.

Ezra Vaigafa – Sophomore at Neosho County Community College

Formerly from Rongotai College, Vaigafa concluded his high school career at Box Hill College in Melbourne. He played for New Zealand at the 2019 FIBA U17 Oceania Championships in New Caledonia, and also played 17 games for the 2021 NBL championship-winning Wellington Saints.

Nathan Wilson – Sophomore at South Georgia Technical College

The former Auckland and Mt Albert Grammar forward is in his second season at SGTC – who went all the way to the Junior College National Championships in 2021-22. Wilson had an eye catching season in the NBL in 2020, averaging 6.8 points and 3.7 rebounds in 14 games for the Huskies.


*Note this list is of players known at the time of writing. It’s possible there may be some players absent from this list with players often moving, or travelling to the US without publicising their plans, or may yet to be announced by teams.