Taranaki basketball talent getting recognition with national call-ups
29 Jun 2017
With a number of national basketball squads being announced recently, one thing has been made clear - there is some quality young talent coming out of Taranaki.
In almost every New Zealand age group team, some Taranaki talent can be found.
Sacred Heart Girls' College's Caitlin O'Connell will captain the New Zealand under-16 girls' side when they head to Australia next month to play at the Australian Junior Championships, with Parris Mason also in the squad.
In the same age-group, Raquel Sampson was selected in the New Zealand select team who competed in the Medibank Classic in Australia in June.
Current member of the Taranaki Thunder Isabelle Cook could play in the same team given she's 15, however she has jumped up and been selected in the under-17 women's team.
The New Zealand Under-17 Women's team will travel to Chennai, India in October to take on the best from the Oceania and Asia zones.
In the men's teams, Caitlin's brother Matthew was one of three Taranaki members of the under-18 men's team, with Oscar Robertson also part of the main squad and Cameron Tretheway named as the non-travelling reserve.
The trio recently returned from the NBA Asia Pacific Camp in China where they had the opportunity to train with top coaches and currently NBA players.
It's not just Taranaki's youth who are getting the recognition of their play with national call-ups.
Taranaki Mountain Airs captain Aaron Bailey-Nowell was selected to play for New Zealand and the 3x3 World Cup, and his team mate and Mountain Airs most valuable player for the 2017 NBL season Alonzo Burton currently playing overseas with the New Zealand select team.