Ngatai the Nugget as first five rounds of 2020 Sal’s NBL Draft are completed

JORDAN Ngatai has made history as the first selection in the inaugural 2020 Sal’s National Basketball League (NBL) Draft. The 196cm, 98kg small forward previously played for Wellington Saints, but will run out on court for the Otago Nuggets who return to the New Zealand NBL for the first time since 2014. Ngatai has also previously represented the Manawatu Jets and Taranaki Mountainairs, but was most recently a member of the successful title-winning Saints side in 2017 and 2019, with a third title back in 2014.

Taranaki Mountainairs selected Derone Raukawa with the second pick, rejoining the Mountainairs having played for them last season. Whilst he had intended to join the Hawke’s Bay Hawks in 2020, the Hawks opted to forgo a spot in the competition so Raukawa lands back at the Airs.

The third selection saw last year’s wooden spooners the Manawatu Jets selected Tall Blacks forward, Tom Vodanovich with the 201cm talent set to provide some strength around the court. He preceded the unsurprising Nelson Giants selection of 38-year-old club legend, Mika Vukona. The power forward is a five-time Australian NBL Champion and still representing Brisbane Bullets to this day.

Similarly, it was only a matter of time before England-born Tall Black Jack Salt made his way into the frame with the 208cm centre landing on the Canterbury Rams list with their first selection. He had returned from college in Virginia and signed with the Rams for the 2020 season so will fulfil that agreement after being picked up in the first round.

Rounding out the first round was former Southland Sharks’ big, Dom Kelman-Poto heading to Franklin Bulls, making history as the first ever Bulls’ selected player, whilst Wellington-born Izayah Mauriohooho-Le’afa joined the second-year Auckland Huskies after finishing college with Sacramento State.

The first five rounds were completed in less than an hour, with Tohi Smith-Milner heading to the Huskies followed by other potential first round picks, Sam Timmins (Bulls), Taylor Britt (Rams), Mike Karena (Giants), Hyrum Harris (Jets), Marcel Jones (Airs) and Jarrod Kenny (Nuggets). One of the sliders of the draft was Jackson Stubbins who was picked up in the fourth round by Franklin Bulls after initially being name co-captain for the Manawatu Jets this year.

Sal’s NBL Showdown – Draft Order

ROUND 1
1. Otago Nuggets – Jordan Ngatai (SF, 196/98)
2. Taranaki Mountainairs – Derone Raukawa (PG/SG, 181/80)
3. Manawatu Jets – Tom Vodanovich (PF, 201/100)
4. Nelson Giants – Mika Vukona (PF, 197/93)
5. Canterbury Rams – Jack Salt (C, 208/113)
6. Franklin Bulls – Dom Kelman-Poto (PF/C, 201/113)
7. Auckland Huskies – Izayah Mauriohooho-Le’afa (PG, 188/90)

ROUND 2
8. Auckland Huskies – Tohi Smith-Milner (PF, 206/96)
9. Franklin Bulls – Sam Timmins (PF/C, 211/120)
10. Canterbury Rams – Taylor Britt (PG, 187/77)
11. Nelson Giants – Mike Karena (C, 210/122)
12. Manawatu Jets – Hyrum Harris (SF, 198/105)
13. Taranaki Mountainairs – Marcel Jones (SF/PF, 203/99)
14. Otago Nuggets – Jarrod Kenny (PG, 188/87)

ROUND 3
15. Otago Nuggets – Jordan Hunt (C, 2016/104)
16. Taranaki Mountainairs – Shane Temara (PF, 206/102)
17. Manawatu Jets – Jayden Bezzant (SG/PG, 188/83)
18. Nelson Giants – Dane Brooks (SG/PG, 190/86)
19. Canterbury Rams – Joe Cook-Green (PG, 185/84)
20. Franklin Bulls – Everard Bartlett (SF, 198/88)
21. Auckland Huskies – Leon Henry (SF/SG, 201/100)

ROUND 4
22. Auckland Huskies – Taine Murray (SG, 196/89)
23. Franklin Bulls – Jackson Stubbins (PG, 188/
24. Canterbury Rams – Alex Talma (PF, 203/111)
25. Nelson Giants – Tom Ingham (PG/SG, 191/90)
26. Manawatu Jets – Taane Samuel (SF, 203/105)
27. Taranaki Mountainairs – Tai Wynyard (PF/C, 208/116)
28. Otago Nuggets – Kane Keil (PF/SF, 198/104)

ROUND 5
29. Otago Nuggets – Josh Aitcheson (SF, 193/88)
30. Taranaki Mountainairs – Mitchell Dance (SF, 193/)
31. Manawatu Jets – Nick Fee (PG/SG, 186/87)
32. Nelson Giants – Josh Bloxham (PG, 186/85)
33. Canterbury Rams – Sam Smith (SF/SG, 193/88)
34. Franklin Bulls – Isaac Davidson (PF, 201/100)
35. Auckland Huskies – Rashid Al Kareem (PG, 190/87)

TEAM-BY-TEAM:

Auckland Huskies:

7. Izayah Mauriohooho-Le’afa (PG, 188/90)
8. Tohi Smith-Milner (PF, 206/96)
21. Leon Henry (SF/SG, 201/100)
22. Taine Murray (SG, 196/89)
35. Rashid Al Kareem (PG, 190/87)

Canterbury Rams:

5. Jack Salt (C, 208/113)
10. Taylor Britt (PG, 187/77)
19. Joe Cook-Green (PG, 185/84)
24. Alex Talma (PF, 203/111)
33. Sam Smith (SF/SG, 193/88)

Franklin Bulls: 

6. Dom Kelman-Poto (PF/C, 201/113)
9. Sam Timmins (PF/C, 211/120)
20. Everard Bartlett (SF, 198/88)
23. Jackson Stubbins (PG, 188/)
34. Isaac Davidson (PF, 201/100)

Manawatu Jets:

3. Tom Vodanovich (PF, 201/100)
12. Hyrum Harris (SF, 198/105)
17. Jayden Bezzant (SG/PG, 188/83)
26. Taane Samuel (SF, 203/105)
31. Nick Fee (PG/SG, 186/87)

Nelson Giants:

4. Mika Vukona (PF, 197/93)
11. Mike Karena (C, 210/122)
18. Dane Brooks (SG/PG, 190/86)
25. Tom Ingham (PG/SG, 191/90)
32. Josh Bloxham (PG, 186/85)

Otago Nuggets:

1. Jordan Ngatai (SF, 196/98)
14. Jarrod Kenny (PG, 188/87)
15. Jordan Hunt (C, 2016/104)
28. Kane Keil (PF/SF, 198/104)
29. Josh Aitcheson (SF, 193/88)

Taranaki Mountainairs:

2. Derone Raukawa (PG/SG, 181/80)
13. Marcel Jones (SF/PF, 203/99)
16. Shane Temara (PF, 206/102)
27. Tai Wynyard (PF/C, 208/116)
30. Mitchell Dance (SF, 193/)

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