Photo Credit: Reagen Butler
We caught up with young guard Marvin Williams-Dunne the day after the Auckland Huskies had suffered a disappointing Sal’s NBL opening night defeat against the Canterbury Rams.
The loss certainly hasn’t dented the 19-year old’s enthusiasm as the team went through a light training session.
“We knew Canterbury had been together for a few weeks so we knew it was going to be tough. KB (Huskies Head Coach Kevin Braswell) warned us that the first couple of weeks may be rocky but once we get flowing, and training together longer, we will start building up our game.”
Williams-Dunn was named by Braswell to start the game against the Rams, a decision that came as a surprise for the 19-year old.
“We had a training and walk-through on the morning of the game and KB called the starters out to run through some plays and that’s when I realised. I was proud to have my name called out and I know my family were also.”
The rookie guard is thoroughly enjoying the Huskies environment and his first taste of NBL action.
“I love it, having leaders like Tohi, Johnny and Leon is making it enjoyable and rewarding.
“I’ve only played against KB in the Mexicali League when he dropped about 40 points on me, but just being able to be around him to listen and ask questions is invaluable The same goes with Aaron and Lindsay, they are two of the best coaches in Auckland.”
The former standout at Rosmini College will be headed for Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas later in the year and knows learning from the likes of Braswell and Tait will stand him in good stead when he heads to the USA.
“Lindsay is possibly the number one point guard to come out of New Zealand and KB is a legend from Georgetown University and the NBL so the knowledge they have is massive.
“Also playing against older guys is good for me, like playing against Taylor Britt.”
Prior to the 2020 Sal’s NBL Williams-Dunn had enjoyed a glittering junior career.
In 2018 he captained New Zealand at the FIBA U17 World Cup in Argentina, leading the team in assists (2.9apg) and was also the second highest points scorer tallying 7.9 points per game. The following year he played for NZ U18 Men at the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup in Malaysia.
He played for the Rosmini College Premier team in all five of his high school years – he holds the unofficial all-time games played record at the college. Rosmini appeared in three consecutive Schick Nationals Grand-Finals in his final three high school years winning back-to-back championships in 2017 and 2018 before finishing runners-up to St Kentigern College last year.
In addition Williams-Dunn led Rosmini to a highly respectable sixth place at the ISF Basketball World Schools Championship in Greece in April 2019 and two months later he made Tournament Team at U19 Nationals helping Harbour secure the title.
He recalls fondly his time at Rosmini with the successes on court more than matched by the friendships he has developed.
“The best memory is making so many friends at Rosmini, meeting so many good people and families.”
For now Williams-Dunn is an integral part of the Huskies family, his positive demeanour and ready smile contributing greatly to the strong team culture.