Junior Tall Blacks keeping a few special weapons under wraps ahead of promising World Cup campaign


The future of New Zealand Basketball is looking bright.

The team, stacked with height and pedigree, heads for Egypt today after beating Australia earlier this year.
Source: 1 NEWS

For the first time ever, the Junior Tall Blacks are heading to the World Cup after an historic victory over Australia last year.

But first, they’ll have to survive their long trip to Egypt tonight – a task that’s not so easy when you’re a 2.16m tall athlete like Cullum McRae.

"It's all right if you’re in an exit row but in a normal seat it's not very comfortable at all," he said.

Height is a big part of the team's recent success and with a further 5 players over 6 foot 10, including McRae, it's hoped it'll bring more of the same on the world stage.

"It's a huge help,' coach Daryl Cartwright said.

"This team has been bigger than what the Tall Blacks have been for several years in terms of overall size - but I think the character of these guys is a big thing as well."

But size isn't the only thing the Juniors have on their side.

Brothers Flynne and Tobias Cameron can't remember life without basketball - with dad and Tall Blacks legend Pero Cameron playing an obvious part in their development.

"He's definitely like another coach," Tobias said.

"Growing up watching him playing for the Tall Blacks – that’s really grown on us and we want to be a part of that feeling he's had."

And despite going in to the tournament as first timers, there's a definite buzz about what the team can achieve.

"It's an unknown for us," Cartwright said.

"We haven’t been there as a group and I haven't coached at a World Cup myself, so we have a little bit of excitement and anticipation."

loading error