HoopNation NZ squad named for King of Kings

By Tamati Tiananga

The HoopNation NZ selectors, head coach Avi Meyerson, along with HoopNation co-founders Paul Berridge and Kj Allen, have selected their squad for the 2019 King of Kings competition in Shanghai.

Berridge says, "The team represents some of the best talent assembled at HoopNation in 2018.  For players to be considered for King of Kings Shanghai, they must play HoopNation and from there make a mark over the event for selection to trial."

Berridge says the selected team has the skills to mix it with the best countries in the competition. 

"Having witnessed the talent in August 2018, the top four ranked teams were of a very high calibre, both USA teams, China and Germany- who were eventual winners."

"We have the talent to join this group of teams- our focus is being able to adapt to the 18 second shot-clock format forcing teams to play a fast-paced style."

HoopNation NZ held trials on the weekend in Tauranga.  

"We aren’t going to just compete, our planning and efforts are to go with the intent to win.  Fitness of players to run and their mental toughness is critical," says Berridge.

The 18-man squad is as follows:

  • Nick Barrow - Franklin Blitz. 
  • James Cawthorn - Canterbury Knights.
  • Nick Fee - Rack City.
  • Phillip Green - F-Gang.
  • Hyrum Harris - F-Gang.
  • Hyrum Hippolite - Toa.
  • Dom Kelman-Poto - Buckys.
  • Jared Thompson - TGA Bladez.

In addition to the 8-man squad, the Hoop Nation NZ selectors have also named  3 players who will be on standby as injury cover:

  • Randall Bishop - Toa. 
  • Eru McCulloch - TGA Bladez.
  • Tipene FRIDAY - Toa.