U23 Nationals | D-League for 2023 Jumps Ball Tomorrow in Auckland

Flooding in late January of 2023 wreaked havoc in Auckland, but seven months later, the courts of Eventfinda Stadium have been replaced and they’re ready for another year of the Basketball New Zealand U23 Nationals & D-League. Four days of basketball action will be played in the North Shore with 31 teams playing across both competitions.

Riana Rangi-Brown, who was last year’s MVP for the D-League, made mention of how herself, and her team managed to win a championship with the Etco Auckland Dream.

“Leading into the tournament, the goal was to stay focused and have fun playing while aiming to emerge as champions. We bought into the game plan Coach Darc had put in place for us. Not having many trainings prior to the tournament, we just had to trust each other a lot and adapt quickly to how the other teams were playing,” said Rangi-Brown.

Rangi-Brown also made mention of the future within Basketball here in New Zealand, and what she’s looking forward to seeing, especially with the rise of Tauihi and the Rapid League.

“I’m most excited about the future of women’s basketball here in New Zealand. The game itself is seeing the development and growth go well, especially through the Tauihi League. An amazing opportunity for the young girls to play against the best our country has to offer as well as talent from around the globe. Even watching the Tall Ferns success in the 2023 Asia Cup, and bidding for a qualifying spot for Paris 2024 is an outstanding achievement and a goal that the future generation can look to aim for one day.”

With the U23 Nationals competition falling the way of Taranaki last year, we caught up with Ben Carlile-Smith, the MVP of the tournament to give us some insight into that close 97-95 victory in the Grand Final against hometown favourites Harbour.

“The final was very intense, and Coach used his timeouts well to keep us calm and confident in the moment. Foul trouble caused different rotations and people playing out of rotation which shows the importance of having a strong 10 player roster,” said Carlile-Smith.

“Being a younger team in the competition we weren’t going to let any team push us over and represent Taranaki with pride and that got us through the moments where the game could’ve gone either way.”

Carlile-Smith also made mention of the way the game of 3×3 is growing around New Zealand.

“It’s exciting to see the expansion of the New Zealand National Basketball League to get more basketball happening in different parts of the country. As well as the leagues, 3×3 is booming and more people are getting involved in the shorter version of the game. It’s a place where you can represent not only your region, but yourself for potential National Selection.”

Keeping up to date with the fixtures and results is simple and can be found at https://bbnz.link/u23nats or https://bbnz.link/dleague

The tournament will have selected games on Day 3 and Day 4 streaming LIVE at https://nz.basketball/tv. The schedule for live streamed games will be shown on our social media channels, and is the easiest way to get all the information as the tournament happens. A link will also be available on the home page of Basketball New Zealand.

Key details:

  • The U23 Nationals | D-League will be held at Eventfinda Stadium in Auckland from 16th August – 19th August.
  • You can view the scores and results, as well as any other relevant tournament information at https://bbnz.link/u23nats OR https://bbnz.link/dleague
  • You can watch selected games (for days 3 and 4 only) online via nz.basketball/tv
  • Following Basketball New Zealand on Instagram, Facebook and X (Twitter) is the best way to get instant access to information.
  • You can view all the photos of the tournament at https://bbnz.link/photos. Photos are updated throughout the day.
  • Follow live scores and standings for this tournament by downloading the GameDay App and searching for BBNZ Tournaments.