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U-19 Basketball Stars at Arena

U-19 Basketball Stars at Arena

The best of New Zealand and Australian under 19 basketball will be showcased in Porirua this month.

The Junior Tall Ferns and Junior Tall Blacks take on their Australian rivals at the 2012 FIBA Oceania Men's & Women's Under 19 Championship being held at Te Rauparaha Arena from September 20 to 22.

The winners will go on to compete at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championships. Porirua sporting star Deslea Wrathall coaches the Junior Tall Blacks and says her team has had a good build-up to the Championships.

"We know what we are up against. This age group has never beaten Australia before and much of the team coming over has just played at the Worlds and came second to the United States. That's pretty amazing…But we've had a good run-up and the guys are feeling good."

It's the first time the under-19 Oceania Championship has been held in Porirua, following a successful bid by Porirua Basketball Association and Te Rauparaha Arena.

It will be a great opportunity to showcase the city and its local talent, says Junior Tall Black's manager and Council Manager Community Recreation Willie Taurima. "We want to celebrate basketball and the community, and demonstrate that we are capable of hosting international fixtures."

Around 400 children from 20 local schools have received tickets to the event; with 300 encouraged to dress to support the kiwi teams and 100 asked to back the Australians. In return they are bringing a donation for the Salvation Army food bank. Find out about the competition and game times at

© Scoop Media

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