The 2015 SAS Secondary Schools National Championships begin in Palmerston North next Monday 28 September, featuring some of the best young basketball talent in the country.
For at least three young Kiwis, the Boys ‘AA’ tournament will be a final opportunity to win a major championship with their schoolmates before they head to college in the States.
Tai Wynyard, Matt Freeman and Sam Timmins tasted success as New Zealand team mates when they won the 2015 FIBA 3X3 Under 18 World Championships in Hungary, in June this year. The trio have already committed themselves to major NCAA Division 1 Colleges. Wynyard is committed to the University of Kentucky, the winningest team in NCAA Div 1 history. Timmins heads to the University of Washington Huskies, and Freeman has just returned from a brief visit to Oklahoma University, which is his destination for 2016. However, next week the gifted threesome will focus on securing the AA title before heading overseas.
Timmins was last year’s tournament MVP when helping Otago Boys High School take home the 2014 title. Timmins has since shifted north to Christchurch, and will represent Middleton Grange School this year.
Freeman will suit up for Westlake Boys High School, who are last year’s beaten finalists and perennial contenders.
Wynyard will head to the tournament direct from the New Zealand Breakers, who are competing at the ANBL Blitz in Townsville. The Tall Blacks’ centre will lead Rangitoto College alongside four members of the New Zealand team that recently contested the FIBA Under 16 Oceania Championships – Sam Waardenburg, Daniel Fotu, Brayden Inger and Cameron Stone.
Girls National Championships
There are 23 teams that will be contesting the girls’ AA championship. New Plymouth Girls High School will return to defend their title. Wellington Girls College, who were last year’s runners-up, will be back and led by Tegan Graham.
Losing semi-finalists from 2014, Westlake Girls High School and Cambridge’s St Peter’s School, will return to challenge for the title. Westlake lost to Rangitoto College in the recent final of the Zone 1 Premiership, but with age group internationals Zara Jillings, Tiarna Clarke and Katelyn Noyer spearheading their effort, Westlake will be tough competition. The same must be said of St Peter’s, particularly with the talented sister duo of Charlisse and Krystal Leger-Walker.
Another pair of sisters, Nicole and Aleisha Ruske, will also head Zone 4 winners, St Hilda’s Collegiate effort. The Dunedin school is pitched in the same group as Rangitoto who will be paced by Coola Baudry, Sophie Bond and Rebecca Hughes.
The ‘A’ tournament is designed for schools with smaller roles, yet the competition will be strong with some quality basketball for spectators, with 12 girls teams and 11 Boys teams competing. The larger AA tournament will have 23 teams in the Girls, while the AA Boys features 24 teams.
Maori TV in conjunction with Kahawai Productions will be broadcasting a selection of delayed games from the 2015 SAS Secondary Schools National Championships. Maori TV have allocated 24 one hour slots to broadcast after the conclusion of the tournament, beginning late October:
· English commentary plays on Maori Television Saturdays 1430-1530 starting 25 October and running for 24 weeks.
· Māori commentary plays on Te Reo Sundays 2030-2130 starting 26 October and running for 24 weeks.
Livestreaming details will be distributed on our website and social media accounts once confirmed.
Draw and Results
A copy of the draw can be downloaded here.
Results during the tournament can be followed here.
Basketball New Zealand would like to acknowledge SAS Sports as the naming rights sponsor for the 2015 SAS Secondary Schools National Championships. For more information about SAS Sports, please visit their website www.sas.co.nz