Isaac
Years ago

Time for a Tai Webster thread

Kiwis, tell us everything you know about this player - 17 years old, coming almost out of nowhere and scoring well for the undermanned Tall Blacks. How does he go in the NZ NBL? Where's he headed? College? Breakers ranks? What's his realistic ceiling?

His brother Corey could also score a bit if seeing enough of the ball. Similar style? Undersized SG or scoring ball-carrier?

Started today alongside Tait and had 21 points to lead NZ. Have seen his name a few times in recent threads about young NZ squads and these Tall Blacks games and figured he deserved his own discussion.

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paul  
Years ago

He's a scoring ballhandler, but still learning the PG craft. Can get into the lane in an instant and create for others and himself, but tempo control and reading the defence are still works in progress.

He has a super sweet jumpshot and is the talk of the town here in Venezuela at the moment.

He is still finishing school and only played a couple of NZNBL games for 11mins and 2 points, but scored something like 42 points in the final of the NZ U19 nationals and 29-odd in the final of the U21s to upstage Steve Adams a little bit.

It sounds to me like he would love to play for the Breakers if an offer comes, but if not will look to go to college once school is done.

He has a much higher ceiling than Corey because he is much quicker, looks like a better shooter and handles/passes much better. He could be anything really, even NBA, depending on what happens in the next few years with his development. Hopefully he follows a better path than Corey - he seems like a good kid.

The Breakers should sign him, he is raw but clearly ready to play pro and certainly would be if he was from any country in Europe.

Sorry about the long spiel but it has been bloody exciting watching him play, a bit like rediscovering Patty Mills again. To think he was only invited to Tall Blacks camp for 'development'!!

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Isaac  
Years ago

Hate to make anything and everything about the 36ers, but could NBL teams do worse than flatter the kid with a professional offer in case it tempted him across? Is he the academic type?

Adelaide are probably in a position to gamble on one of their remaining spots, so even if it was a small chance, why not?

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natwhereyouat  
Years ago

I like this thread very much.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Yea would love the 6ers to take a punt on a kid like this, we are already assembling a very young exciting roster, why not continue by offer Tai a shot (or any other top NZ/Aussie available for that matter, especially a guard who can shoot or a big)

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Mystro  
Years ago

He goes to West Lake Boys High (brother Corey also attended as did Rob Loe, Tom Abercrombie, Kirk Penney) on Aucklands North shore and is a Breakers academy player. He played for West Lake Boys High School Team, North Harbour Under 19 and the New Zealand under 21 before making his NZBL debut and then Tall Blacks debut. Plays SG like his brother but has recently been playing PG. He was released from Tall Blacks camp to attend his school ball.

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Mystro  
Years ago

He needs to develop his game by either going to College or doing what Abercrombie did and go through the Breakers Development program which being as he is already a Breakers Academy player, is prob already going to happen. Isaac Fotu played together with him in the World 3x3 Champs and in the Academy and played as a Development Player with the Breakers until he got a gig to the University of Hawaii so no reason not to think Tai will follow a similar path through the Breakers.

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paul  
Years ago

His game is prob at the level of Abercrombie's at the age of 22, the year he was a DP but got a chance when Bruton got injured and showed everyone he belonged in the NBL.

Tai might even be slightly ahead of that. The only issue might be the physicality allowed on ballhandlers in the NBL as he is slight, but I doubt that would phase him, he is too quick to be bothered by it.

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paul  
Years ago

Of coourse the kid has to finish school so DP is a good option for now, then after another international season hell be ready for full time.

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MACDUB  
Years ago

Realistically, he is an NBA prospect. He is 6"3 at the moment, but will end up at 6"5 i reckon. Think of a more wirey, taller, more athletic version of Corey. He will be better than Corey..the world is his oyster

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Mystro  
Years ago

there can be nothing bad about turning up to work each day and having CJ Bruton keep you on your toes and teach you everything he knows. He has already acknowledged Bruton in an interview on Fiba.com

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clarky  
Years ago

On a bit of a side topic here, but does anyone know what is happening with Corey Webster?

As far as I can recall he got suspended late last year (I think) from all basketball (NBL, NZNBL, Tall Blacks etc.) by the Australian Sports Commission after failing drug tests, and I was mainly wondering if anyone could tell me if he would be eligible for this NBL season, or if he has more of his suspension to complete?

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Tai is a 6'2 scoring point guard who has confidence and no fear. Something which helps in succeeding at the elite level.
Very athletic and can get into the lane and finish or dish. Should go to a good divison 1 school or become a breakers development player next year.
Lots of potential....

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Joey  
Years ago

There was an article written about him and a few of New Zealand's other best up and comers here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1237757-basketball-top-under-19-new-zealand-college-prospects

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MACDUB  
Years ago

clarky, Corey is over in China now with a team for 2-3 months.

The Breakers don't know whether they can fit him in under the points cap.

This was from May this year:

"The complicating factor is the points situation. Henry carries a four rating, and if he was re-signed the Breakers would only have three points to play with for their last spot. Webster (4), Bartlett (5) and Tait (5) all exceed that, though players are able to appeal their ratings."

Leon was re-signed so he doesn't fit in under the cap.

They might have to look at someone like Brook Ruscoe, Brad Anderson instead.

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clarky  
Years ago

Ahhh thanks for that MACDUB!

I wonder what the chances of him returning to the NBL for a team that isn't the Breakers...

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Mystro  
Years ago

Breakers have made their facility open to Corey to use throughout his suspension and from what I heard he took advantage of the opportunity.
Would be good to see him back in a Breakers uniform in the near future especially playing next to his brother but no doubt we'll see that with the Tall Blacks

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Anonymous  
Years ago

The commentators last night absolutely fell in love with Webster, they also mentioned he received an offer from the University of Hawaii to play college ball but were uncertain whether he has decided to accept or decline.

It really was a coming out game for the kid especially after watching him against FYRM a night earlier. Reminded me of Patty's first Boomers series and look at what he's already acheived at his age.

Good luck to him he definitely has the tools and swagger to make it far.

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paul  
Years ago

The Uni of Hawaii coach is at the tournament, so that would explain that.

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paul  
Years ago

BTW, apparently Corey is working out with Goorjian, which should be a great thing for him.

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Mystro  
Years ago

Isaac Fotu, a Breakers DP last season and one of Tai's team mates from the 33 comp and and a former academy player has already left for the University of Hawaii so if an offer was made I would expect Tai to take it

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Mystro  
Years ago

*33=3x3

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natwhereyouat  
Years ago

Re: Corey. He is suspended until 15th of September. So he can't be signed until the 16th of September. I know of at least 2 teams that are/have considered him. His history off the court is the only thing stopping a few teams from jumping on him.

But if there is an early season injury you may see a team take a risk on him because he does have some great up side.

As far as Tai Webster goes, he is currently fielding NCAA D1 offers. So don't expect him (if at all) in the NBL any time soon.

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Cell  
Years ago

Reportedly also had scholarship offers from Wake Forrest and Pittsburgh. Tai's father though was an all conference player at Hawaii and with Fotu their it might be an attractive option to him.

He is a slashing guard but can also shoot. My comparison for him would be a kind of Austin Rivers, Russel Westbrook combination. He is extremely explosive and a great dunker. Id say at an american college he would be listed at 6-3 or 6-4

I saw a few of his games at the U/19 Nationals and he dominated the game. He played on a team with 3 other junior tall blacks and was carrying his team.

If the breakers are able to sign him they should do.

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Mystro  
Years ago

He's trained at their facility almost every morning before school and everyday during his school holidays for some time under Judd Flavell so it is pretty safe to say the Breakers know who he is and what he is up to.

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Mystro  
Years ago

Tohiraukura Milner-Smith, is from Rosmini College and debuted for the Auckland Pirates this year in the NZNBL as a DP and is also a member of the NZ Under 18 squad. He's only 16yo and is 6 9". He lead his school team to a NZ National Secondary School Title. He has handles and range from outside which he is obviously still developing.

At 17 Rueben Te Rangi is considered one of the next big things in NZ Basketball and has been touted as a possible "Hoops Summit type player".
A team mate of Tai Webster and Isaac Fotu at the 3x3 World Champs and from Manurewa in Auckland. Rueben is an Athletic 6 7" Forward. Playing for the Harbour Heat he was named 2012 NBL Rookie of the Year, an award that went to Steven Adams last season. He has an outside shot (went 6/6 from outside against Southland which is Braswells team and 44% over the season) and an ability to get to the rim in traffic. Defensively he isn't bad either. He attended the Nike All Asia Summit and was MVP and has attended the Albert Schweitzer Tournament in Mannheim Germany twice. He is looking to attend a low key school in America where he can play some minutes, contribute and not have to ride the pine while he gets an education.

Tom Vodanovich is an 18yo 6 8" Forward who debuted for the Wellington Saints DP (30sec appearance) but is a young player with a big upside. He has also attended the Albert Schweitzer tournament representing NZ and averaged 10.5 points and 5.3 rebounds. Hard working blue collar type player who hustles his butt off and Kenney McFaddon (Steven Adams mentor) has credited him as being a good versatile young player. Tom has also played with Isaac Fotu, Brook Ruscoe, Tai Webster and Rueben Te Rangi at the Breakers Academy.

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Mystro  
Years ago

Alonzo Burton is another NZ Breakers Academy player and like Cory and Tai Webster and BJ Anthony, Alonzo's Dad was a NZBL legend, Willie Burton who was drafted by the Denver Nuggets but never made the cut but managed 21years in the NZBL.
Alonzo is a 6 4" SG born in New Plymouth and plays in the NZBL with the Bay Hawks under Paul Henare. He averaged 37.8% from behind the arc and 47.8% from the floor and 5 points 1.2 rpg. At 19 he has already represented NZ in the Under 15, Under 16 and Under 17. Has handles and athleticism and can shoot the 3.

Brook Ruscoe is a Junior Tallblack who played alongside Rob Loe, Dion Prewster etc at the Junior U19 World Champs in NZ (he had 22 vs Argentina with highlights of that game on youtube). 6 3" 22yo Guard from Porrirua was a National Secondary School Champion and MVP twice. He now plays for the Auckland Pirates where debuted in 2011.He had a brief stint in the States when he secured a scholarship with Moberly Area Community College (MACC).

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Mystro  
Years ago

http://kahnapedia.blogspot.co.nz/2013/01/kiwis-in-college-tai-webster-exclusive.html#!/2013/01/kiwis-in-college-tai-webster-exclusive.html

Recent interview with Tai Webster.

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