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Tall Blacks (Basketball)

The New Zealand national basketball team is the national basketball team of New Zealand. It is nicknamed Tall Blacks, as it reminds people of New Zealand's Rugby Union team, the All Blacks.

For the number of Basketball players in New Zealand the Tall Blacks always over perform on the World stage.

The Tall Blacks competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and finished with a 1-5 record, their only win coming against Angola in the playoff for eleventh.

In 2001 they defeated Australia in a three-game series to qualify for the 2002 FIBA World Championships in Indianapolis. At the tournament they finished fourth, after beating Puerto Rico in the quarter-finals before losses to Yugoslavia and Germany. Tall Blacks captain Pero Cameron was the only non-NBA player named to the all-tournament team in Indianapolis.

The Tall Blacks qualified for the 2004 Athens Olympics but again finished with a 1-5 record and lost to Australia in the playoff for ninth place. Their most noted moment was on the 7th day of the games, when they beat Serbia and Montenegro (the world champions) 90:87.

The Tall Blacks went on a South-American tour in 2006 as a lead up to the FIBA Basketball World Championships. They played Argentina (Olympic Champions and runners up in 2002 FIBA Championships), Brazil and Venezuela. They played four games against each country. The Tall Blacks got swept by Argentina and Brazil. They only managed one win against Venezuela but still loss the series 3-1.

2006 FIBA World Championships

In 2006, a few months before the FIBA world championships. The Tall blacks took on the Australian Boomers in a post-tournament 4 game series. The Tall Blacks won a 2 game tie by points difference. The Tall Blacks also swept Qatar in a 2 game match up post tournament as well.

In 2006, the Tall Blacks were not to repeat their fourth-place finish as in 2002. Instead, they finished in the final 16 of the FIBA Basketball World Championships, after a second round loss to Argentina, 79-62 which knocked them out of the tournament.

After that disappointment, Tab Balwin resigned as the coach of the Tall Blacks, and the position was, as ,expected, replaced by Nenad Vucinic, his long time assistant coach. The Tall Blacks just managed to make it to the final 16 as they were beaten by: Spain, 86-70 (New 2006 FIBA World Champions), Germany, 80-56, Angola, 95-73.

Their only wins coming from: Panama, 86-75 Japan, 60-57.

The Tall Blacks 'fourth place' spot went to Argentina, the very team who knocked them out, and swept them in the post tournament series.

Click here for the official Tall Blacks website

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