The Sky Tower Auckland Huskies are delighted to announce the signing of promising guard Zach Riley for the upcoming Sal’s NBL season.
Having been a Development Player in 2020, Zach has been elevated to a full roster position for the 2021 campaign and will play for the Huskies as an amateur in order to protect his eligibility to undertake a college basketball scholarship in the States.
The Rangitoto College Year 13 student may be the youngest member of the club’s playing squad but Huskies Head Coach Aaron Young believes the 17-year old can make an immediate impact.
“I’ve coached against him at high school level and believe he has a massive upside just because of his mindset.
“He’s a fearless young-gun who just gets out there and plays his game no matter who the opposition.
“Regardless of age he is the type of young prospect I want to include in the Huskies, the type who wants to get to the next level.
“He’s still playing for school and Harbour but he’s definitely someone I think can make an impact, and really play an on-court role and I’m looking forward to him stepping up to take on that challenge.”
For Zach the next few months look as if they will be busy given his commitment to three teams but is enjoying the higher level of competition.
“It’s definitely great training with talented players.
“It’s crazy how different it is compared with high school, it’s definitely a step up
“The biggest change for me is not just the speed but the control and speed. At high school you have quick players but often they are out of control but here you have to have far more discipline.
Son of Tall Black and 2000 Olympian Brad Riley, Zach also has plenty of guidance at home.
“He’s been the biggest influence on my career and my idol. He played many seasons in the NBL and played at the Olympics which gives me a goal to strive for in the future.
“He’s smart as hell when it comes to basketball, it’s great having that at home, but annoying at the same time,” Zach says wryly.
Zach believes playing for the Huskies will elevate his chances of acquiring an American college scholarship, particularly with all games being broadcast live on ESPN.
“Coming off what Taine (Murray) and Marvin (Williams-Dunn) did last year the Huskies is definitely a pathway to help me with that major goal,” added Zach.
The Huskies begin their 2021 NBL campaign with a trip down the southern motorway on Sunday April 25th to take on the Franklin Bulls.
The Huskies first home game will be on Friday April 30th against Manawatu Jets at Eventfinda Stadium. You can purchase your full season membership by clicking here.
Sky Tower Auckland Huskies Roster:
Armoni Brooks, Tom Vodanovich, Brook Ruscoe, Nick Barrow, Theo Johnson, Chris McIntosh, Reuben Fitzgerald, Jackson Smyth, Sean Murphy, Kiani Saxon and Zach Riley.