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Tai Wynyard

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  • Tai Wynyard

    After Steven Adams, Tall Blacks have another upcoming prospect in Tai. He recently committed to Kentucky, a known breeding ground for the NBA.

    Basketball: One step closer to NBA dream

    Breakers development player and young Tall Black Tai Wynyard is set to attend one of the top basketball schools in the US, committing to the Kentucky Wildcats in 2016.

    The 16-year-old, who starts back in his final year at Rangitoto College today, made his decision following a week-long trip to the US earlier this month, where he also fielded scholarship offers from Villanova University and Texas University.

    Kentucky has the most successful basketball programme in NCAA history, with the most all-time wins and the highest winning percentage. The Wildcats are the top ranked men's team in the United States this season with a perfect 19-0 record and are favourites for another NCAA crown.

    Coached by the esteemed John Calipari, Kentucky is considered a pipeline to the NBA, producing recent stars like John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, Eric Bledsoe and Anthony Davis. But the programme has also come under attack for its use of "one-and-done" players, with critics arguing Calipari has taken advantage of NBA rules that require players to be one year removed from high school in order to be eligible for the NBA Draft, turning the University of Kentucky into a "basketball way station".

    Wynyard, who admits knowing little about the American college game, said Kentucky's reputation for preparing players for the NBA was a key factor in picking the Wildcats.

    "That's the number one place for getting people to the NBA," Wynyard told Kentucky's Courier Journal. "That's something I've wanted to do since I was a little boy."

    Wynyard attended the Wildcats' home win over Missouri two weeks ago giving him his first up-close look at a US college game and the world-class programme at the University of Kentucky.

    "Kentucky seemed like the best fit for me," he said.

    "They are going to push you to their max no matter who you are or what you do.

    "If you are the best player in the country or the world, they're going to push you. That's the thing that really got to me. No other college really said that to me, and that's why I chose them."

    The 2.06m power forward is the first member of the 2016 class but that could change if he reclassifies and enrolls at Kentucky for next season after finishing his studies in December - mid-way through the NCAA season.

    Wynyard, one of last year's Herald Future Stars of Sport award winners, became the youngest Tall Black when he took the court against South Korea last July, and trained with the extended squad prior to the FIBA World Cup, before missing the final cut.

    American recruiting interest in Wynyard picked up after he participated in the Jordan Brand International all-star game in New York last year, and he and his parents began to exchange emails with college coaches.

    Wynyard is part of the Breakers squad, but does not get paid or travel with them, so as to protect his amateur status and NCAA eligibility.

    Wynyard's athletic prowess is no doubt assisted by his parents, Jason, who was a world champion wood chopper, and Karmyn, who played for the Tall Ferns.

    Word of his wood-chopping lineage spread quickly while he was attending the Wildcats game, prompting fans to call him "The Lumberjack".
    I remember when the South Korea national team went to play against the Tall Blacks. Yoo Jae-Hak asked one of his scouts on what is the age of this kid who has shown mobility and exceptional coordination. Yoo was very surprised that the 7 footer was just 16 and yet was outplaying Kim Joo-Sung and Lee Jong-Hyun at one point.
    Sacramento Kings

  • #2
    Tournament MVP of the FIBA 3X3 U18 tourney.
    Sacramento Kings


    • #3
      very nice footwork, he reminds me of Tim duncan.

      “Hindi ko na inaano ‘yun (mapasama sa pool) eh,” Santos said. “Kung susumahin mo ang buhay naming mga player, ‘san ba talaga ang first priority namin, ‘di ba? Ang first priority ko, dahil dito ko nakuha lahat ng kagandahan ng buhay ko at para sa pamilya ko, ang San Miguel. Alam naman ng lahat ‘yun. Ito ang dapat kong paglingkuran.”


      • #4
        I like his game. He is cool
        Hello to everybody! I need fruit slot games free spins. Somebody knows where I can find it?



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