The Southland Sharks today added three talented youngsters to their 2022 New Zealand National Basketball League roster.
2021 Development Player Ethan Mitchell of Gore returns for a second season with the squad and will be joined by Southland age-group representative Quake Webster and New Zealand Under-18 guard Campbell Scott of Palmerston North in this year’s line-up.
Sharks’ Head Coach Rob Beveridge is well known throughout Australasia as one of the best developers of promising talent in the game and recognises the importance of creating pathways for young talent into both the Southland Sharks and the Sal’s NBL.
“We want to build something over time, and we want to invest in the future. We’ve identified some young talent and will expose them to high intensity training and get our senior players to mentor them,” Beveridge said.
Throughout last season, his first at the helm of the Sharks, Beveridge showed he was not afraid to give younger players court-time.
“I’ve got a philosophy that from opportunity comes success and at times I want to throw our young guys out there and they will become better for that experience. So, when the opportunity presents itself this season, I will definitely be playing them,” he said.
Mitchell is an example of a player taking that opportunity and returns to the fold with increased expectations as a second-year player.
“It’s like an apprenticeship. It’s like your first three of four years as a chef or a builder and it’s the same in basketball. Ethan had his first year of his apprenticeship last year and I’ve already started to be more demanding of him and I know he will take more steps forward as part of our team this season,” Beveridge said.
Mitchell is also relishing the chance to return to the Sharks set-up for a second season.
“Last year was an awesome experience. I learnt so much on and off the court from Bevo and all the guys and I’m just so thankful to be part of the Sharks again,” Mitchell said.
Webster joins Mitchell as the team’s other development player after impressing the coach with his play for Southland last season.
“Quake is one of the best young kids in the region. I watched him play last year at age-group level and he’s very impressive, has a great attitude and is dedicated so it was a very easy decision to get him in as a development player,” Beveridge said.
Webster said he was excited to learn from the higher standard of competition in the Sharks.
“I trained off-court with the team last year and was at every home game watching and learning and when Bevo let me know I would be involved this year I was just so happy to be able to be a part of it for the whole season,” Webster said.
Campbell Scott has been a regular fixture in the Manawatu representative programme through the years and will suit up for Southland this weekend alongside Mitchell in an Under 19 tournament in Invercargill.
“I came down because I thought it would be a good opportunity down here. Liam (McRae) is from Palmy so he helped me out to get down here. Obviously Bevo is a great coach and I can’t wait for him to push me to be better and get all the boys down here and just get to work,” Scott said.
Beveridge is delighted to bring Scott into the fold, in a move that also benefits Southland basketball.
“We’ve got to the point with our programme where people are contacting us and wanting to be a part of it and that’s great for our region. Campbell has made that commitment and sacrifice to move down, play age group for Southland and he’s a great young talent,” Beveridge said.
The Sharks pre-season picked up a notch this week with Beveridge’s arrival in Invercargill with further announcements expected for the squad’s final 2022 roster spots, including the naming of the club’s overseas imports, expected over the next two weeks.
The Sharks tip off their 2022 campaign on Friday April 29th at ILT Stadium Southland against last season’s champions, the Wellington Saints.