Why Australia and New Zealand will be absent at the 2022 FIBA U18 Asian Championship
Both countries will not be present next week. Here's what it means for next year's Under 19 FIBA World Cup.
When players are asked to recite their greatest basketball memories as a junior, those that were afforded the privilege of representing their country at a FIBA youth event almost always list such an experience at the top of their list.
When news broke that both Australia and New Zealand, two of the region’s strongest basketball nations, would be absent at next week’s FIBA Under 18 Asia Championship, it was met with considerable disappointment. As a result of the decision, a talented group of junior male players will miss out on a rare experience to play for their nation at an international competition, as well as the exposure that comes from a FIBA event as they further their prospects in the sport.
For Australia, it means a lost opportunity to see our best 2004 and 2005 born male athletes represent the green and gold, including NBA Global Academy talent such as Alex Toohey, Rory Hawke and Yaak Yaak, as well as US-based wing Klairus Amir, and if he had chosen to participate, Duke commit Tyrese Proctor.
It would have also been a vital opportunity for some of New Zealand’s best upcoming recruits, notably point guard Dontae Russo-Nance and forwards Nic Book and Hunter Adam.
As disappointing as the outcome is for those players, when looking at the circumstances surrounding this year’s competition, the decision not to send their team’s over to Iran was not only sensible, but a nobrainer.
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