Southland Sharks secure Te Rangi's services
Tall Black Reuben Te Rangi will be back playing for Southland in the 2014 National Basketball League.
Southland Sharks general manager Jill Bolger confirmed yesterday the 19-year-old had resigned to play for the Sharks as they attempt to defend the title they won this year.
Te Rangi transferred from Auckland to play for Southland this year and turned out to be a fan favourite and a key figure in the Zero Fees-sponsored Sharks winning their first ever NBL title.
Following the Sharks' win this year it was feared Te Rangi would opt to stay in Auckland where he is currently playing with the Breakers instead of returning to Southland.
However, Bolger was delighted to confirm he had decided to stick with his adopted province instead.
"[He] is in his first season as a contracted player with the New Zealand Breakers in the Australian NBL and that experience will be huge for him," Bolger said.
"He just keeps getting better and better the further he goes in the sport, so we're rapt to secure his services again."
Sharks coach Paul Henare, who also doubles as the Breakers and Tall Blacks assistant coach, has described Te Rangi as one of the best young talents in the country and said getting him back was a big boost.
"Reuben was a pleasure to coach this season. It was great to see his rapid growth through the NBL season and Tall Blacks campaign and now I get to be a part of his continual improvement as a SKYCITY Breaker," Henare said.
"He is one of the future stars of New Zealand basketball and for him to repay our faith in him by re-signing with us is a good measure of the work our organisation has done over our short history.
"As much as our fans enjoyed watching Reuben's athleticism and abilities this year I can guarantee he will return to Southland in 2014 even better."
Te Rangi joins Kevin Braswell in re-signing for 2014 and Henare expected more good news to follow on the recruitment front.
"Reuben's signing is the first of many exciting players we have targeted this off-season as we look to do things even bigger and better than we did this year. Hopefully we can announce some more good news in the coming weeks."
- © Fairfax NZ News