Born and raised in the game of basketball, Kendall Heremaia now has the world in the palm of her hand as she prepares to head offshore on a four-year scholarship with Fordham University in New York.
At 17 years of age, Heremaia is counting the days before she leaves to live overseas.
"Yes I'm excited but also very nervous!” says Heremaia, “I think our standard at times doesn't compare with theirs although there are similarities in our style but their players just ooze confidence.”
At home this week, Kendall is receiving extra attention at a family tournament from teammates who know only too well the range of skills the Junior Tall Fern guard possesses- names that have acquired her the nickname "the beast".
“At a tournament in Tauranga called Hoop Nation I was going up against Megan Craig,” says Heremaia, “She was big, she was tough and I was going up against her and there were these two other girls that were taller than me.
“Yeah she was going up against the shortest lady on the court...heck it all!”
For Heremaia, it’s the beginning of the realisation of long-held aspirations. Soon she'll leave home in an effort to become independent and make her bid to reach the WBA.
"This is massive for me!” says Heremaia, “I'm still shocked to receive the [scholarship] email from them, let alone those I've also received from other varsities. At the start of this year I was quite worried about going to America but by June I wanted to go."
Kendall departs for the Big Apple early in the new year.