Tai Webster: Nebraska Reportedly Leading Choice for Top Kiwi Recruit

Jeff CheshireAnalyst IIAugust 17, 2012

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 27:  Pirates players and staff celebrate with the winners' trophy after winning the NBL final between the Wellington Saints and the Auckland Pirates at TSB Bank Arena on May 27, 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand.  (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Nebraska is the leading school on the radar of top New Zealand prospect Tai Webster, as reported by Rivals.com

Webster, a 17-year-old guard, rose to prominence after an outstanding showing for the New Zealand national team earlier in the year. He put up impressive numbers against some of the world's top sides, often leading the way as the team battled in the absence of many of its more established players.

His talents have been well-documented, and he has received offers from seven colleges including a handful of major programmes. Nebraska, though, appears to be the leading contender of these, and it was reported by JournalStar.com that he is planning an official visit to the University later this year.

Indeed, he may still be one of world basketball's best kept secrets. Those in New Zealand who have seen him play have praised him for years as he has consistently stood out through age-grade tournaments.

In a recent Under-19 National Tournament, he scored 42 points in the Championship Game, keeping his team in touch by himself for a long stretch while their opponents maintained a lead with an unbelievable shooting performance.

It did come as a surprise to many just how good this boy was though. Sure, it was predicted he would end up a very good player, but few expected him to be capable of scoring over 20 points against the likes of Greece and Angola at just 17 years of age. He has proven himself against grown men and has gone up against NBA talent, showing he will certainly have the physicality to play at the college level.

His shooting skills have been well documented, after putting on a clinic against Angola at the FIBA Olympic Qualifiers and shooting 62.5 percent from beyond the arch at the tournament. But what is even more impressive is his explosiveness and finishing ability. It is this more than anything that has made him such a hard player to guard for his peers in his homeland.

In saying this, he will have to adjust to play in the USA. But there is no doubt he has the skill set to do this and could very well end up better than fellow Kiwi prospect Steven Adams.

While traditionally known as a football school, Nebraska look to be showing an increased focus on basketball as was reported by ESPN. If what he has shown so far is anything to go by, Tai Webster could very well be the player to get this programme off the ground. 

Other schools to make offers to Webster include Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Virginia, LSU and Saint Mary's.