Girls bound for US

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Porirua will be well-rep­re­sented at a schools bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment in Las Ve­gas in July, with nine girls mak­ing the trip.

The in­vi­ta­tional tour­na­ment is held an­nu­ally and features the best age group teams from across the United States, along with teams from Canada and Aus­tralia. New Zealand Bas­ket­ball Academy is send­ing eight teams, with the Porirua play­ers from un­der-13 to un­der-16 level.

Luana Pe­nese, whose daugh­ters Sariah and Natal­iah are in the NZBA un­der-15 and 13 teams re­spec­tively, says it is a great chance for the girls to test them­selves against the best in the world, un­der the watch­ful eye of US col­lege scouts. The trip isn’t cheap, each girl hav­ing to pay $4500 to at­tend. They will hold movie nights, a bas­ket­bal­lathon and other events to fundraise.

All of the Porirua NZBA girls are mem­bers of the Porirua Heat club and play in a mid­week com­pe­ti­tion against adults and also train at week­ends.

Off to Ve­gas: Porirua mem­bers of the New Zealand Bas­ket­ball Academy that will be head­ing to Las Ve­gas in July; back row, Emelina Motu, Ti­uana-Marie Aiono; mid­dle row, Mere­ana Hodges, Sarah Tal­bot, Natal­iah Pe­nese; front row, Ains­leyana Puleiata, Sariah Pe­nese, Cheynie Copeland and Tif­fany Ja­cobs.

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