Steven Adams rules himself out of Tall Blacks selection again

Oklahoma City Thunder star Steven Adams has again delayed his Tall Blacks debut as coach Paul Henare named a squad today for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers in New Zealand.

The 24-year-old was one of several players to rule themselves out of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers along with Alex Pledger, Tai Webster (NBA camp) and several players with American College study commitments.

There was some hope that he would be available against Hong Kong on June 28 in his hometown Rotorua and then against China in Auckland on July 1 as the matches fall in a brief FIBA window in the middle of the NBA off-season.

The extended 20-man squad named by coach Paul Henare for a warm-up camp in Wellington on June 17 to 21 was headline by experienced campaigners Tom Abercrombie and Mika Vukona.

"This is always an exciting time, to work through a list of players in contention for the MBO Tall Blacks, some for the upcoming window, while others might have to be a little more patient, this is nonetheless a great opportunity to expose them to the Tall Blacks culture and way of doing things," Henare said.

"We have an exciting group of very talented players who are capable of mixing it with the best teams in the world. This is a great chance to see some of the players we know, as well as bring in some of the US based talent from their American Colleges and gauge their progress."

Players invited to the Tall Blacks camp:

Guards: Jarrod Kenny (Bay Hawks), Derone Raukawa (Southland Sharks), Dion Prewster (Bay Hawks), Isaac Letoa (Dartmouth University), Ethan Rusbatch (Bay Hawks), Jordan Ngatai (Wellington Saints), Tobias Cameron (Abilene Christian University), Alonzo Burton (Taranaki Mountain Airs), Kruz Perrot-Hunt (Rosmini College).

Forwards: Tom Abercrombie (NZ Breakers), Mika Vukona (Nelson Giants), Finn Delany (Nelson Giants), Tohi Smith-Milner (Nelson Giants), Jackson Stent (Houston Baptist University), Reuben Te Rangi (Southland Sharks), Isaac Fotu (Ratiopharm Ulm), Max Darling (Canterbury Rams).

Centres: Jack Salt (University of Virginia),Rob Loe (Cairns Taipans), Tyrell Harrison (Southwest Metro Pirates, Australia).

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - FEBRUARY 26: Oklahoma City Thunder Center Steven Adams (12) looking to make a play while Orlando Magic Center Nikola Vucevic (9) plays defense at Chesapeake Energy Arena Oklahoma City, OK (Photo by Torrey Purvey/Icon Sportswire)
Steven Adams. Source: Photosport