The FIBA 18U World 3×3 Championships are underway in Kazakhstan and Tai Wynyard has led his team to two early wins. In games to 21 that go by 1s and 2s, Wynyard scored 20 points, just under half of his team’s 42.
First thing’s first: The Haka is the coolest, most intimidating pregame ceremony any nation has ever produced. The traditional Maori war cry is how the New Zealanders begin each game.
For those who have asked, “When are we gonna see Tai?” Now is your chance vs. the Philippines.
A few observations on his game.
- One basic fundamental that’s harder than you think, he does a good job of keeping the ball high, away from smaller defenders.
- His footwork and body positioning are exceptional. I don’t have a good frame of reference from last year, but it’s good enough to score and bang on the inside in the SEC. Reverse pivots and reposts are fundamentally sound, but it’s easy to do this against smaller defenders.
- The fast-twitch muscles need some work. He’s not a bad leaper, but a slow leaper, taking a hair too long to get off the floor.
- His jump shot is better than we thought. We saw the clip of him warming up from behind the three-point line, but knocking one down during the game is a different story. He stepped-back and showed off fundamental form early in the game.
He plays again tomorrow morning at 7:15 a.m. vs. Turkey and in a 9:30 a.m. rematch vs. Spain. If you go to this website you might be able to watch live.