Nelson Giant Finn Delany will fulfil a lifelong dream later this year when he takes the court against an NBA team.
The New Zealand Breakers will be one of five NBL teams participating in the NBA preseason with a game against the Phoenix Suns in Arizona on October 3.
The side was overlooked in 2017 after the NBL secured three pre-season games against NBA sides, Melbourne United, the Perth Wildcats and the Sydney Kings selected to represent the league.
Finn says he was still processing the announcement. “It’s a bit surreal, I don’t think it will sink in till I’m over there.”
The 22-year-old believes his Breakers side are capable of challenging the Phoenix franchise.
“I’m really excited and just want to get a win.”
However, Delany says, win or lose, the chance to rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in the game will be a huge learning experience.
“We have to believe in ourselves and just play our game, because anything’s possible.”
Finn says the Suns side is stacked with talent, Devin Booker and Trevor Ariza among the superstars he is looking forward to testing his skills against.
Meanwhile, the Mike Pero Nelson Giant’s winning streak was snapped by the Southland Sharks at the Trafalgar Centre on Friday night.
Nelson were pipped 103-95 by a ruthless Sharks outfit in only their third loss of the season.
Delany says, despite a fightback towards the end, the Giants were embarrassed for three quarters of the game.
“They out-rebounded us heavily and we won’t win games playing like that, we will have to be better tomorrow night.”
The Giants bounced back in style on Saturday, defeating the Canterbury Rams 102-91 in Christchurch to remain in second spot on the New Zealand NBL table.
The Nelson franchise will next face off against the Super City Rangers in Waitakere on Sunday afternoon.