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Basketball NZ looks for more depth

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/05/2016

Basketball New Zealand chief executive Iain Potter expects a boom in games for the Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns after Oceania's inclusion in the International Basketball Federation's Asia zone.

He says that's why Basketball NZ is naming two New Zealand Select teams, aimed at growing a wider pool of elite players to back up the Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns.

A women's Select team was announced on Tuesday, to take on China B in a two-Test series in Auckland on June 4 and 6.

A men's New Zealand Select team will be named in early July to travel to China in mid-July.

Potter says both the women's and men's fixtures against China are the result of having a good relationship with China Basketball.

"The Tall Blacks and New Zealand brand is already recognised there, and they like our style of play and see the value in playing us."

When New Zealand enters the Asia zone, and the new World Cup qualifying process next year, Potter says the Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns will be brought into camp regularly.

"There's a need for a wider group of players to experience elite basketball at an international level," he said

"It's also important to consider how we bring players into the Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns environments.

"The Select teams will give players an insight into that high performance culture."

New Zealand Select women: Soraya Umaga-Jensen, Fran Edmondson, Mary Goulding, Shea Crotty, Ashley Gayle, Jodi Hikuroa-Jeffrey, Brooke Blair, Katelin Noyer, Janet Main, Shalae Salmon.

Head coach: Jody Cameron. Assistant coach: Lori McDaniel.

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