From 2015 the focus at the national representative level (apart from Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns) will be the U17 and U19 age groups, and to continue to make our mark in 3X3.
This is consistent with the decision by FIBA to move New Zealand into a new FIBA qualifying zone – Asia Oceania from 2017. The move to Asia Oceania opens up opportunities for New Zealand to qualify for the U17 and U19 World Championship events held every second year (alternatively). In the past, we have failed to qualify for these events when we have had to beat Australia to do so.
From now on, the World Championship qualifiers and the World Championship events will be the pinnacle events Basketball New Zealand (BBNZ) focuses our energies on. The Australian State Championships will only be entered as preparation for the World Championship events with the exception of the U16 State Championships, which are considered the entry point for international basketball for the New Zealand talent development programme. The Koru Development Tour will continue to exist below the national team level as part of our development programme.
This means that in 2015 we will have:
- U16 teams – pinnacle event the Australian State Champs.
- U17 teams – pinnacle event the Oceania World Championships Qualifiers (hosted in New Zealand)
- U19 squads commencing the next U19 World Championships cycle (aged U18) – no pinnacle event