Otago Daily Times

Tall Ferns duo in Gold Rush squad for 3x3 tournament


THE Otago Gold Rush will be able to draw on internatio­nal experience in Invercargi­ll next month.

Two Tall Ferns have been included in the fourplayer squad to play at the National Basketball League’s 3x3 tournament.

Zoe Richards headlines a team that also includes former internatio­nal forward Lisa Wallbutton.

Tara Clement and Aleisha Ruske make up the guard lineup.

Richards (23) gives the team a genuine star and current Tall Fern.

The Dunedin women’s club league’s most valuable player, the forward is coming off a dominant winter in which she posted 24.0 points per game.

Her ability to both score inside, as well as shoot from deep will be key in the 3x3 format.

Wallbutton brings plenty of experience, having played for the Tall Ferns from 2005 to 2016.

That included winning a silver medal at the 2006 Commonweal­th Games, as well as playing at the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

The 34yearold, in her first year in Dunedin, brings a classy presence inside.

Ruske and Clement both bring plenty of national league experience to the guard lineup.

Ruske (23) has played for the Gold Rush since 2013 and provides an exceptiona­l perimeter defender, while also boasting a handy offensive skill set.

Clement makes her first appearance for the Gold Rush, having played three seasons with the Taranaki Thunder — although has lived in Dunedin.

The team’s schedule for the women’s NBL, set to begin the week after 3x3, has also been released.

It will play doublehead­ers on each of November 2324 and November 2829, as well as a single game on December 3.

All five games will tipoff at 7.30pm.

Semifinals follow on December 45, with the final set for 5pm on December 6.

Six teams will contest the league, all playing each other once before the playoffs and a game scheduled every day for 18 days.

All games will be played at one venue, which is expected to be confirmed this week.

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