Two of New Zealand’s most promising basketball players have been selected to attend the Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Global Camp held in Chicago, Illinois, USA from 14-16 February.
Tall Black Taine Murray and former St Mary’s College, Ponsonby standout Jazzmyne Kailahi-Fulu are among the 64 international prospects invited and will make the trip stateside early next week.
The pair’s selection adds to the growing list of Kiwis invited to esteemed camps. In the last year alone, 12 talented youngsters have attended similar gatherings to train and learn alongside the world’s best.
This is the sixth BWB Global camp hosted by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). Since 2001, the NBA and FIBA have staged 61 BWB camps in 38 cities in 30 countries on six continents.
Across all those camps, 62 alumni have been drafted into the NBA, eight of being 2019. Last year also saw the first-ever alum selected in the WNBA Draft.
Kailahi-Fulu was among the three girls (a record for New Zealand) selected for the BWB Asia Camp in Tokyo, Japan last August and says her exposure to elite-level play made her hungrier to achieve her goals.
“Going to Tokyo last year really opened my eyes to where basketball can take me if I work hard and make the most of the opportunities presented to me.
“I took a lot away from the coaching and drills, but the biggest learning was around leadership and the ways it can impact a game.
“I’m always trying to improve, so I’ll look to build on all the work I’ve done over the past month and also make sure to connect with people in different basketball circles.”
She, along with the other attendees, have been identified by both FIBA and their country’s high performance programme as individuals who possess exceptional basketball skills, as well as strong leadership abilities. The camp is invite-only for those considered the best in their age-group from around the globe.
Players will receive tutelage and share the court with a few of the game’s finest minds, including current NBA star Pascal Siakam. Among the presumed highlights from the camp is tickets to the NBA All-Star game, along with the chance to meet their idols.
Murray says he is looking forward to rubbing shoulders with those leading the camp and participating alongside him.
“It’s very humbling to be selected for this big a camp and I think more than anything I’m excited to learn from some of the game’s big-name players and coaches.
“There’s going to be so much knowledge on-hand and I’ll just do my best to take everything in and ask the right questions.”
“It’ll also be a great measuring stick for how players from one side of the world compare to the other. I’m eager to get stuck in and test myself.”
It’s been a busy summer for the 17-year-old. The year 13 student at Rosmini College spent time in Melbourne last December to train with Tall Blacks Assistant Coach Ross McMains and it was only days ago that he finished competing at the Australian Junior Championships (Under 20) for the NBA Global Academy.
“I did manage to get a good break over the holidays, so I was refreshed by the time we started preseason for school.
“There isn’t a lot of time between being playing in Canberra and then leaving for Chicago, but these teams and camps are once in a lifetime experiences so I’m not complaining.”
Along with Siakam, a host of NBA players and coaches will help run the camp and share their vast experience in professional basketball, including the likes of Davis Bertans and Lauri Markkanen. They will be joined by former WNBA players Ashley Battle, Michele Van Gorp and Ebony Hoffman.
The following is a complete list of players participating in the sixth annual BWB Global Camp supplied by FIBA and the NBA (rosters are subject to change):
BWB Boys Roster
Sadraque Nganga (Angola), Juan Fernandez (Argentina), Biwali Bayles (Australia), Joshua Giddey (Australia), Blake Jones (Australia), Tamuri Wigness (Australia), Augusto Cruz de Oliveira Cassia (Brazil), Charles Bediako (Canada), Ben Mathurin (Haiti/Canada), Josh Primo (Canada), Olivier-Maxence Prosper (Canada), Jerry Ngopot (Central African Republic), Felipe Inyaco (Chile), Yongxi Cui (China), Honglin Qu (China), Leo Menalo (Croatia), Ivan Perasovic (Croatia), Jean Claudio Montero (Dominican Republic), Jonathan Kuminga (Congo), Mohab Abdalatif (Egypt), Juhann Begarin (Guadeloupe/France), Moussa Diabate (France), Alex Tchikou (Croatia/France), Ariel Hukporti (Togo/Germany), Luc Van Slooten (Germany), Moussa Cisse (Guinea), Amaan Sandhu (India), Augustas Marciulionis (Lithuania), Adama Sanogo (Mali), Esteban Roacho (Mexico), Yannick Kraag (Netherlands), Taine Murray (New Zealand), Samuel Ariyibi (Nigeria), Kai Sotto (Philippines), Rafael Pinzon (Puerto Rico), Babacar Faye (Senegal), Pape Sow (Senegal), Cheikh Sow (Senegal), Stefan Todorovic (Serbia), Junseok Yeo (South Korea).
BWB Girls Roster
Jade Melbourne (Australia), Olivia Pollerd (Australia), Maggie Besselink (Canada), Merissah Russell (Canada), Naylee Cortes Espitia (Colombia), Daniela Gonzalez Viveros (Colombia), Alberte Rimdal (Denmark), Yara Osama Hussein (Egypt), Anna Gret Asi (Estonia), Janette Aarnio (Finland), Aminata Gueye (France), Serena Kessler (France), Siya Deodhar (India), Harsimran Kaur (India), Maho Hayashi (Japan), Abril Reyes (Mexico), Jazzmyne Kailahi-Fulu (New Zealand), Chizaram Victory Fredricks (Nigeria), Charlotte Carvalho (Senegal), Aminata Tal (Senegal), Mama Dembele Traore (Spain), Paula Fraile Ruiz (Spain), Camila Kirschembaum (Uruguay), Florencia Niski (Uruguay).