Dad: Kendrick Perkins will never play for NZ

Last updated 05:00 24/07/2010

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The Christchurch-based father of NBA star Kendrick Perkins says his son will never play for the Tall Blacks.

New Zealand men's basketball assistant coach Dillon Boucher said this week that the Boston Celtics centre was viewed as a prospective Tall Black if he met Fiba eligibility criteria.

But his father Kenny Perkins was adamant the 25-year-old would turn down any advances.

"He has no intention of playing for the Tall Blacks – not now or ever," Kenny Perkins told the Waikato Times.

"They tried this a long time ago when Tab Baldwin was the coach and I would never let him play for Tab Baldwin.

"His main goal is to play for the United States."

The 2.08 metre Perkins is currently out of action for six months with a knee injury suffered in game six of the NBA finals for the Celtics against the Los Angeles Lakers.

"We don't know what his eligibility will be in terms of being able to play for us but it's definitely something worth pursuing," Boucher said this week of the Celtics shot-blocker and rebounding specialist.

"It would be awesome to have him playing for the Tall Blacks," Boucher said.

"The Olympic Games and the world champs would be a pretty big carrot for him I'd imagine."

Kenny Perkins, who had a long and illustrious career in the New Zealand National Basketball League in the 1980s and 90s, said New Zealand "should focus on using some of their own young players like Thomas Abercrombie".

The Tall Blacks started a three-day training camp in Auckland yesterday.

At the conclusion of the camp a squad of 12 will be selected to attend the world championships late next month in Turkey.

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- Waikato Times

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