Twelve New Zealand men will be playing NCAA Division II basketball in 2023-24, which is two more than last season.
Amongst the dozen are freshmen Josh Book (Missouri Western State University), Charlie Dalton (Concordia University Irvine) and Riley Tuuta (Cameron University).
As those three embark on their collegiate careers, the trio of William Heather (Dallas Baptist University), Josh Lowe (Lee University) and Marvin Williams-Dunn (Baptist University) will be bringing the curtain down on their careers in March next year.
William Heather (Fifth Year Senior at Dallas Baptist University)
The Hawkes Bay native has made 75 appearances for DBU, scoring 481 points. Heather won a Secondary Schools National title with Rosmini College in 2017, and in the same year was selected for the New Zealand U18 3×3 team.
Josh Lowe (Fifth Year Senior at Lee University)
Out of Ashburton College, Lowe played 84 games for the Lee University Flames – despite missing the entire 2020-21 season after undergoing surgery. He played 25 games in 2022-23, scoring 93 points.
Marvin Williams-Dunn (Senior at Ouachita Baptist University)
Played all 28 games for OBU Tigers last season, starting on 3 occasions; has made 77 appearances in total. Williams-Dunn captained the NZ team at the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup in Argentina, and was a two-time Secondary Schools National Champion with Rosmini College in 2017 and 2018.
Dallas Clayton (Junior at Georgia College & State University)
Previously played two years at Missouri State University West Plains, where he made 51 appearances for the Grizzlies. The Aucklander attended Scots College in his final year at high school and also played for Wellington in the 2021 U19 National Final.
Sean Murphy (Junior at University of Nebraska Kearney)
Appeared in all 24 games with 12 starts last season; has made a total of 52 appearances for Nebraska Kearney. A Secondary Schools National Championship winner with Rosmini College in both 2017 and 2018, Murphy played for New Zealand at the 2019 FIBA U17 Oceania Championship in New Caledonia.
Kiani Saxon (Junior at Missouri Western State University)
The former Liston College forward played for the Auckland Huskies in 2021 in the Sal’s NBL and also represented Harbour at the U23 Nationals in 2023. After two seasons with Louisiana State University Eunice Bengals, Saxon has transferred to Missouri Western State where he will suit up alongside Josh Book.
Mac Stodart (Junior at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs)
Hailing from James Hargest College in Invercargill and St Andrew’s College in Christchurch, Stodart transferred to Colorado Springs after playing his freshman season at Concordia University Irvine. He was one of only three players to start all 29 games for the Mountain Lions in 2022-23, averaging 11.2ppg and 4.3rpg. Stodart also played for New Zealand at the 2019 FIBA U17 Oceania Championship in New Caledonia.
Nathan Wilson (Junior at Oklahoma Baptist University)
Wilson played two years at South Georgia Technical College prior to Oklahoma Baptist, where he made 62 appearances and totalled 420 points, 391 rebounds and 89 blocks. His South Georgia Tech team made the Junior College National Championships in 2022.
The former Auckland and Mt Albert Grammar forward played for the Auckland Huskies in the Sal’s NBL in 2020.
Rufus Rusholme-Cobb (Sophomore at Franklin Pearce University)
Out of Scots College in Wellington, Rusholme-Cobb completed high school at Coconino High School in Arizona. He played nine games for the Franklin Pearce University Ravens in his freshman year in 2022-23.
Josh Book (Freshman at Missouri Western State University)
Will suit up for the first time this season, having redshirted the 2022-23 campaign. Originally from Nelson, Book finished his high school career at Christ’s College; he also played on the 2018 NZ U15 team at the Oceania Champs in Papua New Guinea. His father Ed Book is a former Tall Black.
Charlie Dalton (Freshman at Concordia University Irvine)
Dalton enjoyed a stellar 2023 season prior to Concordia, where he led Harbour to the U19 National Championship title and captured the MVP Award in the process. He was also named Most Improved Player in the Sal’s NBL this past season, playing all 20 games for the Auckland Tuatara while averaging 9.1ppg and 4.7rpg.
Dalton captained Rosmini College to the 2022 Secondary Schools National Championship Final, and was named to the Tournament Team. His sister Tayla Dalton is on a basketball scholarship at St Mary’s College, California and is a Tall Ferns regular.
Riley Tuuta (Freshman at Cameron University, Oklahoma)
Tuuta played four games for the Taranaki Airs in the 2023 Sal’s NBL. He was named to the Tournament Team at the 2023 U19 National Champs playing for finalists Taranaki. Graduated from New Plymouth Boys High School in 2022.