Jeremy "Jay" Kench , (born April 27, 1984 in Wellington, New Zealand), is a New Zealand basketball player who plays the point guard position for the Canterbury Rams in the New Zealand National Basketball League and the Wollongong Hawks in the Australian National Basketball League.
Kench attended former powerhouseChristchurch basketball school, Middleton Grange where he represented New Zealand Under 18, New Zealand Under 19 and the Junior Tall Blacks. He made his NBL debut in the 2003 NBL season averaging 3.4 points a game from 14 appearances. In the 2004 NBL season, Kench gained more maturity with experience, eventually displacing Ben Jeffrey as the Rams starting point guard, starting in 15 out of the rams 18 games. His average was slightly up from his debut season, averaging 4.2 points a game, and just under 3 assists a game.
In 2005, the Rams brought in American point guard, Michael Gardener who became the teams starting point guard, which severely cut into Kench's playing time. Kench did not start any matches in 2005, and his numbers were down considerably, only averaging 2.2 points from ten minutes, a game.
For the start of the 2006 NBL season , the rams brought in new American coach Chris Sparks and a shooting guard Dennis Trammell from the United States. This meant that Kench was able to assume his starting position at point guard. Kench is currently having a breakout year in the 2006 New Zealand NBL. On 28 April, 2006, Kench scored a career high of 30 points, while dishing out 5 assists, in a loss to the Auckland Stars at Cowles Stadium, in Christchurch. Two games later Kench followed this performance up with an equally inspiring 26 point game in a win against the Taranaki Mountain Airs. Kench's strong play has continued on in the second half of the season, on June 9 2006, he had another outstanding game posting 27 points in a victory over the Otago Nuggets in Dunedin. In the final game of the regular season on 24 June, 2006, Kench broke his career high,netting 36 points against the Wellington Saints. He finished the 2006 NBL season with an average of 18 points a game.
His strong play in 2006, was rewarded on 11 May, 2006 when he was selected in New Zealand coach, Tab Baldwin's 29 man New Zealand Tall Blacks squad to prepare for the 2006 Basketball World Championship in Japan.
On 15 July,2006 Kench signed a contract to play for the Singapore Slingers in their debut season in the Australian NBL. After the Australian NBL season, he confirmed he would play for the Canterbury Rams in their upcoming 2007 NBL season.
Kench appears to be much more of a marked man in the 2007 NZNBL season. His overall numbers are down on his breakout 2006 year.Half-way through the 2007 NZNBL season, Kench signed to play for the Wollongong Hawks in the Australian NBL.
Kench was selected in the 2008 New Zealand Tall Blacks Squad. He made the final 12-players to play Australia, but has yet to see court-time.
|Season||Team||Games played||Points per game|
Caps for New Zealand Tall Blacks = 0
NZ NBL career high: 36 points @Wellington Saints 24/6/2006/