CANTERBURY Wildcats have a rich history in the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) and this year in the condensed 18IN18 competition will be no different. Led by captain Tessa Morrison, the red and black army will descend on Auckland to try and win a title.
The Wildcats have announced their 13-player squad for the upcoming competition with shooting guard Morrison leading the way. As an accurate shooter and natural leader who has been with the club for seven years now, she is one to watch out there on the court. Still only 23-years-old, she has some elite skill and one who will guide her side through the challenges of a condensed season.
Some others to watch include Terai Sadler who combined with Fran Edmondson can provide some extra class on the court. Sadler could play out of the three or four positions, whilst Edmondson is a strong rebounder who will likely stand out at the four or five. Saddler is considered a slick ball user and creative when presented with scoring opportunities, while Edmondson is as strong as they come at the post. That flexibility for Sadler will be important considering the strength at the power forward position.
Shea Crotty is another natural leader to assist in the back court. Having been a Tall Fern and experienced in Australia, she will be one of a number of leaders who help tutor the younger members of the team. Lauryn Hippolite showed serious talent in the preseason practice match win over Otago Gold Rush, scoring 30 points during the 83-48 victory. In the same game, Brittany Richards showed her long-range shooting and composure under pressure when on the offence.
Canterbury has plenty of exciting young talents including the X-factor of Sapphire Wairau. Still a young talent, Wairau is able to distribute the ball on offence and set up plays as well as go herself and nail the vital baskets. Throw in Rosalia Samia who is only 19-years-old and already represented her nation at the Under-17 World Cup, and the Wildcats have a bright future.
As an overall team unit, the Wildcats have enough talent to suggest they can run deep in this year’s competition. As title winners back in 2016/17, the Wildcats know what it takes to get the job done and have a number of players from that successful time who could really stand out.
CANTERBURY WILDCATS FULL TEAM LIST: