With his FIBA World Cup competition at its end in the round of 16, it can be said convincingly: Isaac Fotu stood tall among the Tall Blacks.
The Hawaii basketball junior forward did his native New Zealand proud across six games of competition in Spain. He became a go-to player by the finish, scoring in double figures in the last three games.
FIBA actually put together a little feature of its own on The Fro.
New Zealand, not known as a world basketball power, had its chances to improbably advance to the quarterfinals. The Tall Blacks had it tied with Lithuania with under three minutes to go. But Fotu and Co. couldn’t muster the late baskets necessary to advance, as Lithuania prevailed 76-71 on Sunday.
Fotu had 11 points, one rebound and one assist in the loss.
Across the tournament, he finished second among his countrymen in efficiency, was third in scoring (9.5) and second in rebounds (4.5).
From here it’s expected he’ll soon be flying back to the islands to start up his (belated) fall semester at UH.
He’s a very likely Big West preseason all-conference selection. But he garnered some international respect as well with his strong FIBA showing and did nothing to suggest he’ll stop his upward momentum accrued so far in his college career.