Akiva McBirney-Griffin | Sport2021
I am of Samoan and Cook Island decent, raised and schooled in Hamilton and ready to head out into the world and play the sport I love – basketball.
I have been fortunate to be rewarded with some amazing basketball opportunities that have lead me to playing in some awesome parts of the world, being coached by some amazing minds, playing with some exciting talent and learning some of the most daunting lessons a 17 year old could learn. I have worn the red, yellow and orange colours of the mighty Waikato and helped coach and train younger teams. I have bled yellow and gold whilst playing for St Johns in the memory of Mel Young, one of the longest serving teachers at St Johns and basketball administrators in New Zealand. I have done the haka with my New Zealand team mates at FIBA competitions. I have sent perfect lobs to unbelievable African athletes who dunked the ball at an NBA Global Camp, running on court with 21 of the best players in the world in my age group. I have held an NBL trophy with my new whanau, the Otago Nuggets.
Every athlete has been met with trials and hardship. I have come back from injury, I have worked my way from a bench warmer to the starting 5 and I have do every fundraiser imaginable to help my mum afford to keep me in the game.
For such a young age I think I have achieve some great things. There are still championships I want to win, medals I want to wear, players I want to play with, coaches I want to be coached by, countries I want to visit and family and friends I want to thank and support. There are still alot of basketball goals I want to achieve and life I want to experience.