Two squads of local players have been named today to play in the revamped Southland Sharks' Summer League tipping off in January.
The League, now in its third year, has been moved from pre-Christmas to January to lead directly in to the 2020 Sal's New Zealand NBL season and is the opportunity for local players to state their claim for a roster spot in the SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks.
Southland Basketball Development Officer and current Sharks' Assistant Coach Leyton Haddleton and his long-time Sharks' predecessor Mark Bell, will take charge of the local squads who will line up alongside teams from Queenstown and Otago this season.
2019 Sharks Andrew Wheeler, Tom Cowie, Jordan Murphy and Connor Coll headline the squads, alongside former Development Players Sam Hodges, Matt Maginn and former Shark Izaac Williams (2010 & 2016) along with the best young talent in the region.
"We've made the change to run the League from January to March so anyone who develops really well throughout the League hopefully will get looked at by Bevo (Sharks' Head Coach Rob Beveridge) and picked up. There are plenty of guys who would love to be part of that so its a good chance to develop our younger kids and also test these players ahead of the NBL season," Haddleton said.
"The fact that we are going to have four school kids in each team and they will be required to play a certain number of minutes and if they are good enough to play 20 minutes, then they will play 20 minytes, not just at the end of blow-outs. Adding Queenstown and Dunedin teams is a new initiative and adds a bit more spice to the league so I think that gives a little more impetus heading into the Sharks' season," he said.
The League will feature weekly games at 2pm and 4pm on Saturdays at ILT Stadium Southland with the first round scheduled for January 25th.
The full Southland-based squads are:
Cam Archer (s)
Ethan Mitchell (s)
Kalani Grimwood (s)
Quake Webster (s)
Coach: Mark Bell
Asst: Mark Lieshout
Jacob Mika (s)
Joel Fleck (s)
Miguel De Luna (s)
Coach: Leyton Haddleton
Asst: Mike Collett, Alister Johnston
*(s) denotes still at school