Commonwealth Games: Tall Blacks name strong squad for Gold Coast games

Paul Henare has named his strongest squad possible for the upcoming Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Mika Vukona will lead the 12-strong roster, which has a mix of youth and experience.

It will be the first time basketball has been played at the Commonwealth Games since 2006 - where New Zealand won a silver medal.

"While some of this group are younger in years, they have all benefited from recent international basketball," Henare said in a statement.

"Through the 2017 Asia Cup when we took a very inexperienced team away, to recent New Zealand Select tours to China, and of course many were involved in recent FIBA World Cup qualifying windows.

"One of our great strengths is our culture and knowing who we are, why we play and what we do to honour those that have played before and those that will play for the black singlet in the future."

A number of players are unavailable for the Games due to overseas commitments.

New Zealand will play Nigeria, Canada and Australia in pool play, with all matches being played in Cairns before teams move back to the Gold Coast for semi-finals and medal rounds.

The 2018 Games start on April 4, with New Zealand's to face Nigeria in their opening match on April 6.

Tall Blacks squad for Commonwealth Games

Mika Vukona (C), Reuben Te Rangi, Derone Raukawa, Shea Ili, Jarrod Kenny, Ethan Rusbatch, Jordan Ngatai, Tom Abercrombie, Finn Delany, Mika Vukona, Tohi Smith-Milner, Rob Loe, Alex Pledger.

Non travelling reserves: Quinn Clinton, Dan Fotu, James Hunter, Isaac Leota, Sam Timmins, Yanni Wetzell


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