Basketball New Zealand has nominated Waitakere’s Dontae Russo-Nance and Wellington’s Lilly Taulelei, along with coach Dave Mackay, to attend the Jr. NBA Global Championship Asia Pacific Selection Camp in Jakarta on 15 and 16 June.
This is the first Jr. NBA Global Championship Asia Pacific Selection Camp to be held.
There will be 34 boys and 34 girls from 10 countries attending: Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and New Zealand.
The top performing 10 boys and 10 girls will be selected from the camp to represent Asia Pacific in the Jr. NBA Global Championship, which will be held 6-11 August at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida.
The Asia camp will be held at Universitas Pelita Harapan.
Russo-Nance first represented Waitakere West Auckland Basketball when he was six years of age. He has continued to play for Waitakere since, regularly picking up the club’s MVP award for his grade. He has also been part of the New Zealand U14 team that went to the Nunawading Spectres Tournament in Australia in 2017 when he was 12. Russo was the leading scorer at the U15 Nationals in the same year. In 2018 Russo was named in the U15 Aon Nationals Tournament Team.
Taulelei is on the U15 Wellington Basketball Association side. In 2017 she trialed for the New Zealand U14 team as part of Basketball New Zealand's talent identification program. In 2018, Taulelei played in the New Zealand age-group team that won Gold at Nunawading, Australia. She was selected in the Queen Margaret College Senior Girls team as a Year 9 student, where they finished fourth in the Schick Championships. Taulelei has also seen success winning in her age-group teams at the Hoop Nations tournament.