Adams, Api­ata in­spire QT teens

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - RHYS CHAM­BER­LAIN

De­spite not wear­ing his trade­mark camo jacket, NBA su­per­star Steven Adams still got a rous­ing re­cep­tion at Wakatipu High School last week.

The Ok­la­homa City Thunder cen­tre vis­ited the school on Thurs­day ac­com­pa­nied by Kiwi war hero and Vic­to­ria Cross win­ner Wil­lie Api­ata.

Wakatipu High School prin­ci­pal Steve Hall said the pupils - who had not been told Adams and Api­ata were com­ing - were ‘‘pretty blown away’’ by the visit.

‘‘For us it was an amaz­ing thing to hap­pen for our school,’’ Hall said.

‘‘There was this real sense of hu­mil­ity.

‘‘[They are] a cou­ple of ab­so­lutely re­mark­able gen­tle­men.’’

The pair spoke to the pupils about prepa­ra­tion, re­silience and con­fi­dence.

‘‘[They spoke] about fail­ure and that things are go­ing to go wrong and we need to bounce back and be OK with that.’’

Adams re­counted not be­ing able to drib­ble with his left hand, while Api­ata de­tailed how he was not ac­cepted to the SAS the first time he tried.

The war vet­eran bought along his medals, in­clud­ing the Vic­to­ria Cross, which he passed around the pupils.

‘‘He’s [Api­ata] a very spe­cial New Zealan­der,’’ Hall said.

The visit was fa­cil­i­tated by New Zealand Maori Tourism and had taken months of plan­ning, he said.

The Thunder face­book page re­ported Adams’ mes­sage to the hoards of star-struck teens was: ‘‘Don’t be afraid of fail­ure and al­ways be your­self.’’

Adams was in Queen­stown with team­mates Nick Col­li­son and An­dre Rober­son on a break from host­ing bas­ket­ball camps for kids around New Zealand.

He dined at an undis­closed lo­ca­tion with Api­ata and lo­cal MP Todd Bar­clay in Queen­stown on Tues­day night, stop­ping for a snap­shot with Bar­clay out­side Brazz on Bal­larat St.

Adams landed at Queen­stown Air­port from Welling­ton with his en­tourage about 1pm last Tues­day.

He was quickly whisked away af­ter a brief meet­ing with of­fi­cials in­side the ter­mi­nal.

A man claim­ing to be his brother said Adams wanted to keep the visit low-key.

On Mon­day Adams, Rober­son and Col­li­son vis­ited Prime Min­is­ter John Key at the Bee­hive. Adams pre­sented Key with one of his No 12 play­ing shirts.

Ok­la­homa City Thunder bas­ket­ball player Steven Adams vis­ited Wakatipu High School on Thurs­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.