Women’s Basketball: Tessa Boagni heads home for New Zealand National Team trials


File Photo/The Sundial

Kenneth Berry

Christchurch, New Zealand native and CSUN sophomore Tessa Boagni went back home on Tuesday to participate in her countries national team tryouts.

In what will be her first trip home in 11 months, the 6-2 forward/center and 2015 Big West Conference All-Freshmen team member looks to will look to continue her family tradition of playing for the Tall Ferns, the team’s official nickname.

Boagni’s entire family has a history of playing basketball at an elite level. Her father, Kerry Boagni, was drafted by the Utah Jazz and played professionally in the New Zealand league in 1990. Her mother, Jane McMeeken, and older sister Kate McMeeken-Ruscoe played and were captains of the Tall Ferns. Her brother, Luke Ruscoe, was a former New Zealand junior player and Canterbury Rams representative.

“I am excited. There is a big group of college students and a new group is emerging in the Tall Ferns as an older generation has retired,” Boagni said to GoMatadors.com. “CSUN is playing a lot of New Zealand natives next season and it should be nice to see them back home and find out how their first year at college went.”

This will be Boagni’s first time trying out for the national squad and if she makes it, she’ll travel with the team for a training camp in Taiwan and then a pair of games against rival Australia. She has been a member of several age-group national squads for New Zealand, but never for the full national team.

As a freshman, Boagni averaged 5.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game for the Big West Conference Tournament Champion Matadors. She scored in double-figures eight times in seven starts and 29 games played.

Boagni also scored a career-high 17 points in a 84-48 win over UC Santa Barbara and earned the first double-double of her CSUN career with 14 points and 10 rebounds in a 72-63 win at UC Irvine.

Boagni is set to come back to the U.S. in time for the start of the fall semester on Aug. 22.