Lincoln – Sophomore Tai Webster survived the final round of cuts early Tuesday morning and was selected for the New Zealand National Team that will compete in this month’s FIBA World Cup.
Webster, who has started for New Zealand during its most recent training swing in Lithuania this week, has helped the team to a 7-3 record during its current overseas tour following Monday’s loss to Greece. New Zealand has two more pretournament games in Serbia before heading to Spain for the competition.
Webster will be in the second Husker to play in the FIBA World Cup, which until 2010 was known as the FIBA World Championships. In 1954, Bill Johnson was a forward on the gold medal winning United States team in Rio de Janeiro.
New Zealand is in Group C, a six-team bracket which includes Team USA (Sept. 2) along with Turkey (Aug. 30), Dominican Republic (Aug. 31), Ukraine (Sept. 3) and Finland (Sept. 4). A complete schedule is listed below.
Webster started 30 games for the Huskers in 2013-14, helping Nebraska make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998. He averaged 3.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. He topped the Huskers with 63 assists and scored in double figures four times as a true freshman.
The FIBA World Cup will be Webster’s second major international competition representing his country. In 2012, he made his national team debut, leading New Zealand in scoring three times in six contests in his first competition on the senior national team. He averaged 13.5 points per game in the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament, while shooting 52.5 percent from the field. He made his debut at age 17, becoming the youngest player to make the New Zealand National Team at the time.
Webster is the second Husker to make a national team this season, joining forward Leslee Smith, who played for the British Virgin Islands earlier this summer.
*** Posted by Josh Harvey ***