National Teams

For a small country, competing in the world’s second biggest team sport, while geographically isolated from the mainstreams of powerful international basketball nations, New Zealand has developed a disproportionately large number of athletic and highly skilled basketball players capable of achieving success on the world stage. Our focus at a national representative level is built around the fulfillment of the following aspirational objectives:

  • To assist and accelerate the development of an elite player base so that by 2020, New Zealand is ranked in the world’s top ten countries across all age groups
  • Provide talented athletes with tailored, measured and effective programmes that enable them to reach their potential
  • Identify proven techniques and scientific resources that will assist BBNZ in developing world class athletes
  • Increase the depth of players within our National Programmes

These objectives underpin our high performance plan, concentrating on the Olympic and World Cup cycles of our Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns,  Under 19 (U19) and Under 17 (U17) age groups, and to continue to make our mark in 3X3. This recognises the decision by FIBA to move New Zealand into a new FIBA qualifying zone; from 2017 Oceania will be part of the Asia qualification Zone.  The move to Asia opens up opportunities for New Zealand to qualify for the U17 and U19 World Championship events held every second year, based on a three year programme (assuming we qualify right through to World Championships) – World Championship qualification events (Oceania and Asia) and the World Championships will be the pinnacle events is where our focus will lie.


What does it all mean?

Men – Tall Blacks 

  • Guaranteed games within New Zealand
  • A worldwide qualification system with the same dates, same format, etc
  • Greater commercial opportunities
  • Greater costs – Tall Blacks have to be assembled nine times over 25 months (Asia Cup, 6 windows, Commonwealth Games, World Cup)

Women – Tall Ferns

  • Asia Championships 2017 – World Cup qualification
  • Six teams from Asia, two from Oceania
  • Four qualify for the 2018 FIBA World Cup
  • Best chance ever to become part of the world elite!

Age Group Teams

  • Oceania qualify two to compete in Asia Championships
  • Asia Championships qualify four to go to World Championships

In Practical terms:

  • 2017 Under 17’s at the Under 16 FIBA Asia Championships (qualify to Worlds)
  • 2017 Under 18’s at the Under 17 FIBA Oceania Championships (three year under 19 World Cup cycle)
  • 2018 Under 16’s at the Under 15 FIBA Oceania Championships (three year under 17 World Cup cycle)
  • 2018 Under 18’s at the Under 17 FIBA World Championships
  • 2018 Under 19’s at Under 18 FIBA Asia Championships (qualify to Worlds)
  • Three youth teams every year will be in action – assuming we qualify for the Worlds