Harbour Talent making its mark for Tall Ferns and Tall Blacks

Harbour Talent making its mark for Tall Ferns and Tall Blacks

A solid number of current and former Harbour basketball representatives are currently battling the Australian Boomers and Opals respectively in the three test Olympic qualification tournament in Australia.

Captain Kirk Penney as well as Breaker star Tom Abercrombie are leading the way for the Tall Blacks. Both of these stand-out players have played all their junior representative basketball for Harbour Basketball.

Rob Loe who is currently playing on a Division 1 scholarship in the States was a late addition to the Tall Blacks as well as Jarrod Kenny who is currently playing for Hawke’s Bay in the New Zealand NBL. Just like Kirk and Tom these two have also played in Harbour’s maroon and white for all of their junior careers.

On the ladies side there is also a distinct Harbour flavour present on the squad. The Tall Ferns are led by starting centre Lisa Wallbutton and starting guard Micaela Cocks who have had great success winning many junior titles for Harbour Basketball. Both of them are playing professionally in Australia at the moment.

Rebecca Dew who has also played her junior representative basketball for Harbour Basketball is bringing in her trade-make hustle of the bench for the Tall Ferns. Dew is currently playing Division 1 basketball in the States.

Rebecca was also part of this year’s Harbour Breeze squad where she was joined by Tall Fern teammate Jordan Hunter. Jordan is an explosive guard who is currently attending junior college in the States.

Lastly Tall Fern Jelena Vucinic, daughter of Tall Blacks coach Nenad played for the Harbour U21 Girls this year, helping the team win a National title.

In total there are four males and five females currently playing for the senior national teams who are either current or former Harbour Representatives.

CEO Trevor Johnston is delighted with this success.

“We are really delighted to have such a good group of current or former Harbour representative players on the Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns. Seeing this success makes all the effort we put into our development programmes worthwhile. There is no better feeling than seeing your home grown talent make it to the top.”

Development Officer Alex Stojkovic had the following to say.

“Most of these players have shown great loyalty to Harbour Basketball over the years coming through all the age-groups and now they get to show their skills on a world stage. Kirk and Tom along with Micaela and Lisa are key members to their respective teams and as an Association we are very proud to see them achieve success on such a high level. This also clearly shows the great pathway we can provide to our players. These guys and girls have moved through our junior teams, played for strong harbour school programmes and then managed to move to the next level, whether that is the Breakers or college or professional contracts overseas.”

The second game of the Olympic qualifying series will be shown live on Sky Sport tomorrow night starting from 7:30pm with both the Tall Ferns and Tall Blacks having to win to keep their chances of direct Olympic qualification alive.

The third game will be live on Sky Sport on Sunday.




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