Basketballers NSW-bound

Otago players selected for Koru squads to compete in the 2010 Australian Basketball Cup in New...
Otago players selected for Koru squads to compete in the 2010 Australian Basketball Cup in New South Wales (from left) Miah Small (12), Kali Fraser (14), Richard Rodger (12), Dayna Turnball (15), Jesse Te Tau (16), Jake Swindells (16) and Blair Mackenzie (12). Photo by Linda Robertson.
Seven of Otago's brightest hopes will represent New Zealand at the 2010 Australian Country Basketball Cup in Albury, New South Wales.

Bayfield High School's Jake Swindells (16) and Otago Boys High School pupil Jesse Te Tau (16) have been selected in the under-18 boys team, while Dayna Turnball (15), of Otago Girls High School, has been named in the under-18 girls side.

Kavanagh College is represented by Kali Fraser (14) in the under-16 girls team and Richard Rodgers (12) in the under-14 boys side.

Tahuna Intermediate School contributes two pupils as well, with Blair Mackenzie (12) selected in the under-14 boys and Miah Small (12) in the under-14 girls team.

"I'm absolutely thrilled for them," Otago development officer Rachel Gwerder said.

"It is so neat to have so many coming through. It is really like their first step in their basketball career," she said, adding if they impressed at the tournament there was the opportunity to make age group camps and gain selection for further tours.

Gwerder said some of the young athletes had been involved in the Otago Miners programme for the past four years and that programme was starting to reap rewards.

She said the large number of Otago players named in national squads was an indication the sport was in good heart at the grassroots level.

The tournament begins in mid-January and has been a part of the Australian basketball calendar since the mid '80s.


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