Topics: Basketball, Rereātea - Midday News

Wynyard returns to the court

By Jessica Tyson
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

One of New Zealand’s top basketball prospects Tai Wynyard is set to take the court at HoopNation next week in Tauranga after taking a year off due to injury.  

“I can’t wait to get out there and start playing again.  I haven’t played since December last year so I am really looking forward to it,” says the 20-year-old centre.

He’s back home in Auckland from America where he played for the Kentucky Wild Cats at the division one University of Kentucky.

Tai Wynyard playing for the Kentucky Wild Cats. Source: Akiwa Management Group

Wynyard got his ticket to America at just 17-years-old through a basketball scholarship and is currently contemplating the next step in his playing career as he looks to college transfer for 2019.

In the meantime, he has been getting some much-needed rest and rehabilitation as he prepares to play with Rack City at HoopNation, a team made up of players from across the country.

This year at HoopNation he’ll be joined by his younger brother Tautoko Wynyard who was named U15 MVP at this year’s national competition.

Wynyard was the youngest Tall Black to wear the black singlet at just 16-years-old and has had stints with the Junior Tall Blacks and the Breakers.

Tai Wynyard playing for the Kentucky Wild Cats. Source: Akiwa Management Group


HoopNation will take place in Tauranga from October 19 to 22.

The event, organised by two friends from Whanganui, Paul Berridge and KJ Allen, started in 2011 with 15 teams.

This year 144 teams and 1,400 athletes will take part, with almost 400 games to be played over the four days.

And for the first time, Australia is sending over nine teams, including two indigenous teams.