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NZ Olympic Team Profiles: Basketball

Published: 4:35PM Wednesday June 30, 2004

Phil Jones
Position: Guard
Born: 25/1/74 in Reefton
Height: 1.96m
Has been the country's outstanding guard for a decade winning numerous Kiwi MVP titles in the national league. Debuted for New Zealand in 1994 and was a member of the 2000 Sydney Olympic team and 2002 world championship team that reached the semi finals. Has played professionally in Finland, Greece and Italy.

Ed Book
Position: Centre
Born: 23/9/70 in Buffalo, NY
Height: 2.10m
Ed Book has been in New Zealand since the early 1990s and has consistently been one of the outstanding players during that time. Debuted for New Zealand in 2002 and was one of the many stars at the world championships that year.

Dillon Boucher
Position: Forward
Born: 27/12/75 in New Plymouth
Height: 1.96m
Came into the team in 2001 and was a member of the highly successful 2002 world championship team. Plays in the Australian NBL with the New Zealand Breakers and has achieved MVP and All Star Five awards in previous domestic national leagues.

Craig Bradshaw
Position: Forward
Born: Wellington
Height: 2.10m
Based at Winthorp University in the US, Bradshaw made his Tall Blacks debut during the recent test series defeat to the Australians and is highly regarded by New Zealand coach Tab Baldwin.

Pero Cameron
Position: Forward
Born: 5/6/74 inTokoroa
Height: 1.98m
Captain of the New Zealand team and the backbone of the side over the last ten years. He made his international debut in 1994 and co-captained the side at the Sydney Olympic Games. Was instrumental in New Zealand making the semi finals at the 2002 world championships and was selected to the tournament team.

Mark Dickel
Position: Guard
Born: 21/12/76 in Dunedin
Height: 1.88m
Nicknamed 'Sparky' for his electric speed. Mark has been a part of the national set up since 1994 and was another key member of the Sydney Olympic team and the 2002 world championship team that reached the semi final. Played college basketball for the University of Nevada and has played in Turkey and Belgium.

Paul Henare
Position: Guard
Born: 4/3/79 in Napier
Height: 1.82m
Made his international debut in 1998 and was a member of the Sydney 2000 Olympic team and the 2002 world championship team that reached the semi finals. Has played basketball in Yugoslavia and for the New Zealand Breakers in the Aussie NBL.

Sean Marks
Position: Forward/Centre
Born: 23/8/75 in Auckland
Height: 2.10m
Sean became the first New Zealand player to sign for an American NBA side when he went to the New York Knicks prior to the Sydney Olympic Games. Has made appearances for a handful of other sides since. A member of the 2000 Olympic team and an eye injury curtailed his court time at the 2002 world championships.

Aaron Olson
Position: Guard
Born: 11/5/78 in Victoria, Canada
Height: 1.95cm
Born in Canada but qualifies for New Zealand by way of a New Zealand mother. Only made himself available for New Zealand in 2003, debuting against the Czech Republic. Plays for the New Zealand Breakers.

Kirk Penney
Position: Guard
Born: 23/11/80 in Auckland
Height: 1.95m
Penney came to prominence in the US at the University of Wisconsin where in 2003 he guided Wisconsin to outright possession of the Big 10 crown and through to the Sweet Sixteen of the the NCAA tournament, earning all-conference selection honours. He was a member of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games team and the successful world championship team of 2002 averaging 16.9 points per game.

Tony Rampton
Position: Centre
Born: 30/5/76 in New Plymouth
Height: 2.13m
Attended Iowa State University and represented New Zealand at the world U23 championships in 1997. He made his senior debut in 1999 and played at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. An ankle injury prevented Tony playing at the 2002 world championships.

Poara Winitana
Position: Guard
Born 6/12/76 in Hastings
Height: 1.95cm
Winitana was NBL Rookie of the Year in 1996 and made his international debut for New Zealand in 2002. Paora signed for the New Zealand Breakers in their inaugural Aussie NBL season.

Women's Basketball:

Megan Compain
Position: Guard
Born: 18/9/75 in Wanganui
Height: 1.75m One of New Zealands most internationally experienced woman players, including stints at St Josephs University (US), Utah Starz (US), Wurzburg (German) and Lahti (Finland). Still the only Kiwi to have played in the American WNBA. Compain played at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and returns to stake a claim for the 2004 Athens Olympics. Helped Rhondda Rebels to two of Britains three major womens titles over the NZ summer.

Rebecca Cotton
Position: Forward
Born: 23/8/74 in Nelson
Height: 1.85m Another of the Tall Ferns experienced players, having represented New Zealand since 1995. Cotton attended college in the US, and has played professionally in Germany, Sweden and now Australia. After playing at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, she led the Ferns in the 2001 Oceania series against Australia. Helped the Flames to the Australian WNBL final over the summer.

Gina Farmer
Position: Forward
Born: 12/12/74 in Christchurch
Height: 1.87m Vice captain. First played for the Tall Ferns in 1994 and represented New Zealand at the 94 world championships in Australia. Farmer attended college in the United States, has played professionally in Australia and Hungary. She helped Szolnok to the 2004 Europe Cup final and was named Outstanding Forward for the finals weekend, probably one of the best international performances ever by a Kiwi woman. She was the Ferns leading scorer (11.0 points) at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and named to the 2003 WNBL All-Star Five.

Sally Farmer
Position: Forward
Born: 20/5/76 in Christchurch

Height:: 1.86m A Tall Fern since 1998, Farmer joined older sister Gina at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Apart from a brief stint at college in the United States, she has played her basketball exclusively in the New Zealand WNBL. Will trade elbows with the best of them.

Aneka Kerr
Position: Forward
Born: 1/3/81 in Rangiora
Height: 1.82m
Born: in New Zealand, Kerr grew up and lives in Australia, where she has played WNBL for Melbourne and Townsville. She first represented New Zealand at the 2001 Oceania world championship qualifying series. A tireless rebounder and tough defender undaunted by the prospect of marking bigger and more illustrious opponents.

Donna Loffhagen
Position: Forward
Born: 29/4/78 in Christchurch
Height: 1.85m Probably the best known of the Tall Ferns through her achievements as a member of the Silver Ferns netball team, winning silver medals at the 1998, 2002 Commonwealth Games and 1999 world championships. Loffhagen also attended the 2000 Sydney Olympics for basketball and has concentrated on hoops in a bid to return to the Olympics. The teams best rebounder and a great defensive exponent.

Angela Marino
Position: Point Guard
Born: 3/2/86 in Auckland
Height: 1.65m Another young Kiwi discovered playing representative age group basketball across the Tasman. Recently recruited into the Junior Tall Ferns squad and now gets a chance to stake a claim for the Olympic roster.

Julie Ofsoski
Position: Forward
Born: 4/4/73 in Wellington
Height: 1.8m
Born: in New Zealand, Ofsoski lives in Australia where she plays for Knox Raiders in the South East Australia Basketball League and Bulleen in the WNBL. Recently set career scoring and rebounding records in the SEABL. Was a member of the Tall Fern team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and is a consistent scoring threat in the post.

Jodi Tini
Position: Guard/Forward
Born: 10/2/76 in Whangarei
Height: 1.8m Tini comes from one of New Zealand basketballs most famous families, the daughter of NZ U18 coach Mata Cameron and sister of Burger King Tall Blacks captain Pero Cameron. Has many of her brothers basketball attributes and is considered one of the countrys most talented female players, but her career has been hampered by injury. Dangerous from beyond the three-point arc.

Tania Tupu
Position: Guard
Born: 28/12/73 in Wellington
Height: 1.8m Attended college in the United States, where she was voted all-conference in the Big West, and played professionally in Australia. Tupu (nee Brunton) is married to former Tall Black guard Chris Tupu and has played for the Tall Ferns since 1992, attending the 1994 world championships and 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Leanne Walker
Position: Guard, Captain
Born: 17/7/70 in Auckland
Height: 1.67m Captain. Another double international, Walker is New Zealands most-capped womens touch player, having attended three world championships. First played for the Tall Ferns in 1994 when she attended the world championships in Australia. She also played at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and was Most Valuable Player of the 2000 WNBL. Named Outstanding Guard and a member of the 2003 WNBL All-Star Five.

Kim Wielens
Position: Guard
Born: 25/9/77 in Geelong
Height: 1.78m
Born: in Australia, Wielens has achieved NZ residency after moving here with her partner, Basketball New Zealand chief executive David Crocker. She has won two Australian WNBL title under Tall Ferns coach Carrie Graf at Canberra, was the leagues best three-point shooter in 1999/2000 and was Most Valuable Player when Wellington won the 2001 WNBL title.