Girls bound for US
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.