Lofty ambitions for Jordon Rangitawa (HVHS)

Promising young point guard Jordan Rangitawa PHOTO: Supplied by NZ Basketball

By Adam Blackwell

Food poisoning cut short 16-year-old point guard Jordan Rangitawa’s New Zealand Under 19 basketball camp last weekend but she has plenty more to look forward to this year.

The year 13 student, who is entering her fifth and final year in the Hutt Valley High School Senior A basketball team, has big aspirations.

Among those are getting selected to the New Zealand Under 19 team to play in the Oceania Championships in New Caledonia in August this year, as well as trying to earn a scholarship to play in the United States next year.

Part of competing for a spot in the New Zealand Under 19 team was the New Zealand basketball age group selection camp held in Auckland this past weekend.

Unfortunately, Rangitawa came down with food poisoning and said she was “absolutely gutted” that she had to return home early from the camp.

If she is successful in making the New Zealand Under 19 team it will add to her growing list of representative honours.  In the past few years, Rangitawa has been selected for Wellington Under 17, New Zealand U16, and the New Zealand Basketball Academy Varsity team.

In addition to making the New Zealand U19 team, she also had goals of claiming the Wellington Female Basketball Player of the Year and performing well individually and as a team at this years national secondary school tournament.

These lofty goals are backed up by Rangitawa’s exceptional work ethic; she has basketball specific training seven times a week and also goes to the gym twice a day.  “I always take a day off to rest and recover though,” she said.

Rangitawa has also played representative level netball, as well as touch and volleyball but has recently focused solely on basketball in the hope of gaining a United States college basketball scholarship.  An opportunity she said some of her friends are already relishing.

“I have a few friends overseas at the moment experiencing this,” she said.  “They love it over there.”

When it comes to role models Rangitawa doesn’t have to look further than her own household. She said her parents were her biggest role models and they have helped in so many different ways, from fundraising for her basketball trips to putting things into perspective for her.

“Not only do I wanna continue with basketball because this is what I want, but also I want to succeed because of them,” she said.