Topic: Basketball

Rising basketball star Tai Wynyard sets sight on NBA

By Wikitōria Day
  • Auckland

Māori youth Tai Wynyard has signed with one of the top universities in America, the University of Kentucky.  It's there that he will play for the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team. 

He is the first member to be named in the 2016 class.  Te Kāea had the chance to speak with him and his family today.

"I’m feeling great. Right now I just had a massage so I’m feeling good. I think I’ve got a pretty good opportunity," says Wynyard.

He is only 16 years old and has achieved a great deal, but this is the highlight so far.

Wynyard says, "Just securing that spot on the playing roster.  I want to get game time as hard as I can over there and show them what I’ve got."

Kentucky is one of the most successful universities in America and Wynyard is definitely feeling fortunate.

He says, “When I first got there, the coach said to me, if you're not going to work hard, go away!  We don't want you here and as soon as he said that I said this is the one for me.”

Just last month, he flew to America to visit various universities.  Despite being offered scholarships to other universities over there, he chose Kentucky.

"It's a huge honour and as I say, an opportunity to show my skills and hopefully make that next step to the NBA," says Wynyard.

His family is his backbone and they are more than proud of their son.

Mum Karmyn Wynyard says, "He's doing awesome, he's been working really hard.  Like he probably said to you, he’s seen how hard his father works to be the best he can be and he's following along those same lines."

It's all about hard work and determination this year so that he's prepared for 2016.