The New Zealand Junior Tall Ferns have snapped up a talented player from the small Northland town of Mokau. Te Kāea caught up with 16-year-old Kendall Heremaia and her proud family.
She was raised amongst her Ngāti Wai elders at Mokau and with the help of her older siblings she was able to sharpen her basketball skills.
“I'm totally rapt to be selected for this team and it's been a dream of mine since I was attending kura kaupapa” says an excited Miss Heremaia, who has been playing since she was 7-years-old.
This year Heremaia’s received various offers from overseas Universities, who are keen to use her talents.
According to one of Kendall’s relations Mere Barber, “Both the University of San Diego of North Carolina and New York have made inquiries. All up about 10 varsities have shown an interest in Kendall.”
Within the year, Kendall has been selected for the national 3X3 team to compete at the world 3X3 champs in Kazakhstan next year and her recent selection to the Junior Tall Ferns is an added bonus.
“It's been a real dream of mine to go to Kazakhstan for the 3X3 comps. This game is good for me. If I don't have a game of basketball in a week I get bored” says Miss Heremaia.
From humble beginnings in Mokau, the world is now in the clasp of her hand.