Junior Tall Black Taane Samuel will participate in the Basketball Without Boarders (BWB) global camp this weekend in New Orleans, USA. The camp will also coincide with the NBA All Stars game which Samuel is looking forward to, mixing with elite coaches, and players.
For Samuel, this a step up from Junior Tall Blacks training to the BWB camp, and is seen as an opportunity to show scouts and potential coaches what he is made of.
Samuel says, ” Just being around like other good players and just learning off their experiences, bettering [sic] my game and bettering myself as a player and also as a person hopefully."
The Junior Tall Blacks Forward took part in the BWB Asia camp which was held in Melbourne last year and ultimately led to him being selected to go to New Orleans. However, being picked for America wasn't straightforward.
"Originally it was only the MVP of the All-Star game from the selection camp, and the MVP from the overall camp. Those were the only two that were supposed to go. But, I think it came like a couple of months later, my mum ended getting the email from whoever was selecting."
The Ngāi Te Rangi and Ngāpuhi baller was also a member of the Junior Tall Blacks team that took out the FIBA Oceania under-18 tournament in New Caledonia, and is looking forward to being mentored by NBA players such as Wayne Ellington from the Miami Heat and Justin Holiday from the New York Knicks.
“First day I think it's a lot of skillset stuff and a lot of evaluating for teams. I think we're just playing games and a whole lot of skill sets."
To be honest, I'm just looking forward to seeing everyone that's gonna [sic] be there. It's gonna be crazy, I never thought I would be at an All-Star game especially like at this age as well.
For Samuel, this weekend is a great way to prepare himself for the under-19 World Championships in Egypt coming up in July.