date_range Published 23 Jul 2018

New Zealand International Basketball Tours (NZIBT) have announced the New Zealand Premier Teams (North and South) to face the University of Hawaii Women’s basketball team for two games in New Zealand in early August.

NZIBT successfully hosted University of California Golden Bears (Cal) last year and have once again attracted a high profile NCAA Division I college to tour New Zealand. The game against Cal attracted over 150,000 online viewers in addition to the 1000 spectators that enjoyed the game live at North Shore Events Centre.

The games against the Rainbow Wahine will be played at Auckland Grammar School on 9 August and Cowles Stadium, Christchurch on 12 August. The New Zealand Premier teams have been selected from players that played in the recently concluded Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC).

The North and South teams each have two current Tall Ferns as well as a blend of veteran WBC players and emerging young talent.

Tall Ferns Penina Davidson and Alyssa Hirawani will spearhead the North Team. The experience of the likes of Donna Fermanis, Mikayla Daysh and Veshae Wilkinson will compliment the youthful talent of Tayla Dalton, Shauna Povey, Sharne Pupuke- Robati and Isabelle Cook – all four are currently with the New Zealand Team at the FIBA U17 World Cup in Belarus.

Helen Mathews is also in Belarus and she will be one of three teenagers, alongside Charlotte Whittaker and Sofia Kennedy, in the South Team. Tall Ferns Tessa Boagni and Nicole Ruske return from senior international duty to compliment the experienced core of Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats and Otago Gold Rush players.

NZIBT Sports Tour Director Ashley Gayle is thrilled at the prospect of hosting another top American college women’s team.

“We are extremely excited for the opportunity to bring Hawaii University women’s basketball team to New Zealand. We encourage you to support the Kiwi players and watch two great games.”


• 9 August – NZ Premier North v University of Hawaii, 5.30pm tip-off at Auckland Grammar School, 55-87 Mountain Road, Epsom.
• 12 August – NZ Premier South v University of Hawaii, 4.30pm tip-off at Cowles Stadium, Christchurch.


NZ Premiere North

Penina Davidson (Harbour Breeze)
Tayla Dalton (Harbour Breeze)
Keeley Tini (Harbour Breeze)
Alyssa Hirawani (Waikato Wizards)
Shauna Povey (Auckland Dream)
Sharne Pupuke-Robati (Auckland Dream)
Isabelle Cook (Taranaki Thunder)
Arielle Parai (Waikato Country Cannons)
Donna Fermanis (Waikato Country Cannons)
Veshae Wilkinson (Waikato Country Cannons)
Makayla Daysh (Tauranga City Coasters)
Coaches: Justine Reed and Tania Hunter
Manager: Bronwen Davidson

NZ Premiere South

Tessa Boagni (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats)
Shea Crotty (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats)
Sofia Kennedy (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats)
Tessa Morrison (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats)
Connie Poletti (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats) 
Helen Matthews (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats)
Nicole Ruske (Otago Gold Rush)
Soraya Umaga-Jensen (Otago Gold Rush)
Natalie Smith (Otago Gold Rush)
Charlotte Whittaker (North Canterbury Spirit)
Coaches: Todd Marshall and Lori McDaniel
Manager: Josh Thompson


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Story: Basketball NZ