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Tall Blacks coach turns to development

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/05/2017

Tall Blacks coach Paul Henare has turned to his next tier of talent in naming a New Zealand selection to play an invitation tournament in China in June.

Many of the better young players from the New Zealand NBL are in the 12-man squad, along with a small US college-based contingent.

Four players represented the Tall Blacks last year - Finn Delany, Ethan Rusbatch, Jordan Ngatai and Derome Raukawa. Nelson forward Delany is the best-known following a breakthrough season with the New Zealand Breakers.

Henare is pleased to have named a team based mainly on youth, whose international experience has come mainly at age group level.

"I like the fact that these guys will be tested and taken out of their comfort zones," he said.

"Seeing how they react to that is what excites me because then you'll see who can operate under pressure at this level."

The trio on US scholarships are guard Jo Cook-Green (Northwest Florida State College) and forwards Sam Timmins (University of Washington) and Yanni Wetzell (Vanderbilt University).

New Zealand selection: Luke Aston, Alonzo Burton, Joe Cook-Green, Finn Delany, James Hunter, Dyson King-Hawea, Jordan Ngatai, Derone Raukawa, Ethan Rusbatch, Sam Timmins, Tony Tolovae, Yanni Wetzell.

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