Sport | Basketball

NZ under-17 basketball boys make history in Türkiye

The New Zealand U17 basketball team achieved a historic fourth-place finish at the FIBA U17 World Cup, losing 101-78 to Türkiye in the bronze medal match.

This is the best result ever by a New Zealand national age-group side. Coach Leyton Haddleton (Te Rarawa) expressed his confidence in the team’s potential, noting that most players were involved with New Zealand NBL sides.

“Fourth in the world ... You can’t sniff at that. What an amazing achievement,” he said.

Haddleton aimed for a top-eight finish, believing they could make a significant impact once they reached that stage.

“There was a lot of effort into that crossover game. If you win, you’re into eight, but lose and you’re in bottom eight. Then, when we won that, it’s like alright, let’s keep going. We knew we had a talented group but the boys played well.”

The team’s leading scorer, Oscar Goodman, highlighted the strong bond within the squad, which has been together for nearly three years. This connection, built through various age-grade competitions, fostered a positive team culture and contributed to their success.

Goodman, a member of the NBA Global Academy, averaged 17 points, 6.3 rebounds and three assists during the tournament, which earned him a spot in the tournament All-Star team.

The team’s journey to fourth place included wins over Türkiye and Argentina in the group stages, Egypt in the round of 16, and Lithuania in the quarter-finals. Their run ended in the semifinal against the United States, a team featuring several top prospects for the 2026 NBA draft.

Haddleton attributed their success to strong development work and coaching within New Zealand basketball and the underlying principles that contribute to the unique brand of New Zealand basketball.

“We play for each other, we play for the people that help us get there. We bind together and we commit to it, and we live those values every single moment.”


1. USA

2. Italy

3. Türkiye

4. New Zealand

5. Lithuania

6. Puerto Rico

7. Spain

8. Canada

9. France

10. Argentina

11. Germany

12. Egypt

13. China

14. Guinea

15. Australia

16. Philippines