This week’s signing of Josh Book confirms the Canterbury Rams will continue to build for the future, recognising the value of local talent and family tradition.
According to Rams General Manager Caleb Harrison, fans will recognise the Book name for its New Zealand basketball legacy. While father Ed was a key member of the Tall Blacks team that finished fourth at the 2002 World Championships, Josh’s mother Lisa is a former national league guard and junior Tall Fern. Sister Aimee was a New Zealand U16 and 17 girls’ rep who is on scholarship in the US at Fresno State University in the Mountain West Conference.
“Very few young people grow up in a home that is so familiar with the expectations of high-performance sport,” adds Head Coach Judd Flavell. “It certainly explains Josh’s advantage, on and off the court.”
Immersed in the game from an early age, the playmaking guard offers a depth of experience that is incredible for his age. He first represented New Zealand after just entering high school, travelling to Papua New Guinea for the FIBA Oceania U15 tournament.
Taking on the best of Asia and temperatures of 38 degrees Celsius, Book’s New Zealand team went through pool play unbeaten against their hosts, Samoa, Guam and Australia. He was named to the FIBA Oceania All Star 5 for these impressive performances.
He has since added U17 and U19 national team selections to his resume, helping lead Canterbury to the U19 National Championship last June, named MVP of the tournament.
A 2021 graduate of one of New Zealand’s top basketball schools, Book has been selected twice for the Steven Adams High School Invitational Camp, which showcases the top 20 secondary school players in the country.
He set records across all shooting competitions at the camp in 2020, returning in 2021 to break those same records and establish himself as a name to watch in New Zealand sport.
“Josh is a generous passer and true team player who can make plays at the rim and puts pressure on the defense,” says Flavell. “And best of all, like all of us, he simply loves the game.”