Two of Southland’s most promising basketball talents Cam Archer and Ethan Mitchell, have taken large steps in their young careers, being named as Development Players for the SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks for the upcoming New Zealand NBL season.
James Hargest College student Archer and Mitchell, who is fresh out of St Peters College in Gore, are both brimming with excitement as they each look to the opportunity the season presents.
For Archer, it is second time lucky after originally being slated as a Development Player prior to the cancelled 2020 Sal’s NBL season.
“It is such a great opportunity to play alongside such great players. I just want to learn as much as I can and take it all in. It’s obviously a big jump up from the level I’ve played but I can’t wait to learn from Bevo (Sharks’ Head Coach Rob Beveridge) who knows as much about basketball as is humanly possible,” Archer said.
Mitchell is a born and bred Eastern Southlander and like Archer is ready to grab the opportunity.
“I’m a bit nervous but really excited. I want to take in as much as I can and I know the best way to get better is to work hard and do everything and anything I can to help. It is such a cool opportunity and I’m really thankful,” Mitchell said.
Sharks’ assistant coach and Southland Basketball (SBA) Development Officer Leyton Haddleton is delighted Archer and Mitchell have been given the opportunity by the Sharks.
“It’s great to see the pathways we at SBA are creating for our players to go on to play in High Performance Programmes. While there will be a jump to the NBL level in intensity, skill and size, I am excited to see how these two handle this and also how they compete with the rostered players when they get their chance,” Haddleton said.
“Cam has a high basketball IQ which makes him one of our most promising young point guards. He is a great passer and I can’t wait to see how he develops next to the likes of Courtney (Belger). He is so easy to coach and has a real willingness to be pushed to be better.”
“Ethan is a hard-nosed 2/3 man who can create his own shot, knock down from range and always has a grin on his face. He loves his basketball and through the age group teams has proved to be one that has been tough to handle for any opposition,” he said.
Haddleton also believes Mitchell’s selection is a real credit to Eastern Southland Basketball.
“Having Ethan involved is testament to the relationships that SBA has with our surrounding associative basketball organisations. He will be travelling in from Gore and he is an Eastern Southland Basketball player first and foremost,” Haddleton said.
The SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks open the season on the road in Nelson on Monday 26 April with its first home game at ILT Stadium Southland against the Taranaki Mountainairs on Thursday 29 April at 7:30pm. More details can be found at sharksbasketball.co.nz.