Go Media Manawatu Jets Head Coach, Tim McTamney, has two very good reasons to be optimistic ahead of the 2019 Sal's NBL season, they come in the form of towering brothers, Shane and Troy Temara.
“Finding tall, athletic basketball players with genuine ability is never easy, guys like the Temara brothers don’t grow on trees.”
“Shane and Troy fit perfectly with how the Manawatu Jets organisation view our future. We have made a commitment to young, aspiring basketball players of good character, both local and from afar, to build a team through first recognising potential and then embracing their subsequent development.”
Born and raised in Syracuse, New York, the brothers played successfully in US representative teams, and were awarded scholarships through college basketball. They both played at NCAA Division I basketball programmes.
Their New Zealand family ties brought them back to New Zealand in 2018. Shane 23, the eldest played last season with the Saints, while younger brother Troy (soon to turn 21) played the latter part of the season with the Manawatu Jets.
The 2019 Sal's NBL season with the Manawatu Jets will mark the first time the brothers have been team mates since they were in High School.
“I was keen to join the Jets as they are building on a young team of Kiwis with a great coach and organisation,” says Shane. “I’m confident I can help the team reach their goals and I am looking forward to running around with the team very soon.”
Shane (206cm) credits Troy (204cm) with being a strong, agile big man able to play the 4 and 5 positions, allowing him to play alongside Troy in his preferred stretch 4 or small forward game.
The highlights of Shane’s career in the United States were making the Atlantic Ten Conference playoffs, and placing, and making the National JUCO playoffs.
Troy is excited to return to the Manawatu Jets.
“I loved the Manawatu community, the Jets organisation and the coaching staff,” says Troy. “I’m confident I’m in the right team to grow and develop with the younger Kiwis.”
“It’s going to be great to play with Shane. We haven’t played together in an organised team since West Genesee High School. I think we can certainly use our brotherly connection for the benefit of the team.”
Both brothers have higher aspirations which include playing for the Tall Blacks and NBA but when not playing basketball they’re going to make the most of Palmerston North’s central location to explore and sightsee, particularly some of the local bush walks and they may also be spotted on the dancefloor showing their off-court moves.
McTamney showed in last year's Sal's NBL what could be achieved through a nurturing yet disciplined approach and a group of young players who were committed to daily improvement. Six players, either in high school, or one year removed, averaged over 10 minutes court time a game, an unheard of situation.
Pundits branded the team as ‘a bunch of kids and a geriatric’ (reference to then ‘out of retirement’ captain, Ben Valentine) and were predicted to lose every game badly. McTamney and his young team proved the experts wrong, becoming a competitive outfit and notching a few wins along the way, including a thrilling 94 – 91 win over the eventual Sal's NBL Champions, the Southland Sharks.
The NBL season begins on Thursday April 11 when the Jets face off against the 2 Cheap Cars SupercityRangers in Palmerston North.