Tall Blacks Name Long List For Next Month’s FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifier in Auckland

With the Tall Blacks set to play their first game in Aotearoa since 2018 next month – hosting the Philippines as part of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers – BBNZ has today announced a long list of 33 players in contention for this game.

The player list includes:

Guards: Corey Webster, Dion Prewster, Ethan Rusbatch, Flynn Cameron, Jarrod Kenny, Jayden Bezzant, Joe Cook-Green, Kruz Perrott-Hunt, Richie Rodger, Shea Ili, Taine Murray, Taylor Britt

Forwards: Akiva McBirney-Griffin, Benjamin Gold, Dan Fotu, Dominique Kelman-Poto, Finn Delany, Hyrum Harris, Isaac Davidson, Jordan Ngatai, Kenneth Tuffin, Kane Keil, Max Darling, Sam Mennenga, Taane Samuel, Taki Fahrensohn, Tohi Smith-Milner, Tom Abercrombie, Tom Vodanovich

Centres: Jordan Hunt, Michael Karena, Sam Timmins, Tai Wynyard

The players will assemble in the days prior to the Tall Blacks game on 30 June at Eventfinda Stadium in Auckland, with a game day squad of 12 players selected at that point. Tall Blacks Head Coach, Pero Cameron says that the long list contains a ‘solid’ group of athletes from which to pull together a squad to face Gilas Pilipinas next month.

“It’s a good mix; we’ve got veteran Tall Blacks in there like Shea Ili, Finn Delany, Jarrod Kenny and Jordan Ngatai, as well as players with a fair amount of NBL / ANBL experience like Tommy V (Vodanovich), Dion Prewster, Hyrum Harris and Taane Samuel.

“And then we’ve got a group of hungry, young up-and-comers who have proven themselves at the college basketball level in the States; athletes like Kruz Perrott-Hunt, Sam Mennenga and Dan Fotu. These younger guys are the future of our Tall Blacks programme so we want to get them involved now, learning from the vets about what it takes to wear the black singlet and represent Aotearoa on the world stage.

“So I expect all these guys – young and old – to fight hard to earn a spot on the team, as nothing is given out at this level unless hard work and dedication is put in.”

Coach Cameron and the Tall Blacks will also draw from this pool of 33 players for the upcoming FIBA Asia Cup, which is being held in Jakarta, Indonesia from 12-24 July.

The Tall Blacks take on the Philippines at Eventfinda Stadium in Auckland, 7.30pm on 30 June. Tickets are available at https://tinyurl.com/ycy6e9dd

Find out more at www.fiba.basketball/basketballworldcup/2023/asian-qualifiers


Tall Blacks Long List (23 May 2022)

Akiva McBirney-Griffin, University of California Irvine

Benjamin Gold, Marquette University

Corey Webster, Al Ittihad Alexandria / Franklin Bulls

Dan Fotu, Saint Mary’s College of California / Auckland Tuatara

Dion Prewster, Melbourne United / Sandringham Sabres

Dominique Kelman-Poto, Southland Sharks

Ethan Rusbatch, Hawkes Bay Hawks

Finn Delany, NZ Breakers

Flynn Cameron, Riverside California

Hyrum Harris, Adelaide 36ers / Hawkes Bay Hawks

Isaac Davidson, NZ Breakers / Franklin Bulls

Jarrod Kenny, Cairns Taipans / Hawkes Bay Hawks

Jayden Bezzant, Franklin Bulls

Joe Cook-Green, Canterbury Rams

Jordan Hunt, Hawkes Bay Hawks

Jordan Ngatai, Cairns Taipans / Wellington Saints

Kane Keil, Franklin Bulls

Kenneth Tuffin, Wellington Saints

Kruz Perrott-Hunt, University of South Dakota

Max Darling, Constanta / Canterbury Rams

Michael Karena, Canterbury Rams

Richie Rodger, Taranaki Mountainairs

Sam Mennenga, Davidson College

Sam Timmins, NZ Breakers / Otago Nuggets

Shea Ili, Melbourne United / Sandringham Sabres

Taane Samuel, Brisbane Bullets / Wellington Saints

Tai Wynyard, Taranaki Mountainairs

Taine Murray, University of Virginia

Taki Fahrensohn, Ehingen / Auckland Tuatara

Taylor Britt, Canterbury Rams

Tohi Smith-Milner, South East Melbourne Phoenix / Sandringham Sabres

Tom Abercrombie, NZ Breakers

Tom Vodanovich, Sydney Kings / Wellington Saints