With the fundraising and flights now complete, the Canterbury Knights Basketball side can get down to business in Melbourne.
The development side, which is made up of some of Canterbury’s most promising talent as well as a handful of former Canterbury Rams and other NRL Franchise players, will take on a number of semi-professional Australian sides who are preparing for the Big V (Victoria) State Basketball League.
“I’m really looking forward to Melbourne as it gives our team an opportunity to play other teams throughout the year. The teams overseas will offer us big challenges and I’m excited to tackle these with our guys. We have been working hard as a group and can’t wait to get over there and play,” said Knights Captain Marty Davison.
Some of the Melbourne opponents were sourced through former Canterbury representative and Tall Ferns coach Kennedy Kereama who is the Director of Coaching at the Sunbury Basketball Association in the north-west of Melbourne.
The Knights name has a strong history in Canterbury Basketball, having won the 2003 NZ Conference Basketball League (2nd Division) and making the final four in 2004.
Following a number of years where the competition, which sits a level below the NBL, swung in limbo the Knights re-launched in 2016 and have been successful at National tournaments, finishing runner-up at the 2016 NZ National Basketball league Championship in Porirua, and winning the NZ HoopNation tournament in 2017 in Tauranga.
2019 promises to be an expanded year for the Knights with games against the Otago Nuggets and Southland Sharks (preseason squad) on March 9 in Dunedin, before challenge matches against other sides including Nelson, and the HoopNation event in Tauranga over Labour Weekend in October.
2019 CANTERBURY KNIGHTS MELBOURNE TOUR ROSTER
1 Derek Albertsen (Guard) – Atami, 4th year with Knights
3 Kurt Feneon (Forward) – Christchurch Boys HS, 1st year
4 Marty Davison (Guard – Captain) – Pioneer, 4th year
5 Nick Erwood (Forward) – Pioneer, 3rd year
6 Taylor Britt (Guard) – Wolverines, 3rd year
7 Nathan Campbell (Forward) – University of Canterbury, 2nd year
10 Brent Fisher (Centre) – University of Canterbury, 3rd year
11 Zacc Dwan (Forward) – Atami, 1st year
21 Barclay Miller (Forward) – Gators, 1st year
Coach: Piet Van Hasselt, 4th year
Manager/Stats: Sharon Erwood, 4th year
Performance Analyst: Fox Gray, 2nd year
2019 CANTERBURY KNIGHTS MELBOURNE TOUR SCHEDULE
Thu 7 Feb, 8.00pm, vs Melton Thoroughbreds
Fri 8 Feb, 8.00pm, vs Melbourne University Black Angels
Sat 9 Feb, 7.00pm, vs Sunbury Jets
Sun 10 Feb, 12.00pm, vs Sunbury Jets Youth (U23)
Sun 10 Feb, 7.00pm, vs Keilor Thunder
Mon 11 Feb, 7.30pm, vs Weribee Devils