Rangatahi hoopers have eyes set on Kobe Bryant training camp

By Mare Haimona-Riki

Over a dozen young basketballers wrap up their 3-day camp in Gisborne this morning. They are now preparing to attend the “Mamba Sports Academy” in Los Angeles next year. The local hoopers hope to make an impression on ex Tall Black, Everard Bartlet to be selected for this opportunity of a lifetime.

Taimarie Matahiki is one of the keen Māori ballers that was involved in the recent training camp held at Gisborne Boys High school this week. 

"I want to meet Kobe Bryant, and learn the moves that he hasn't shown anyone else.

"I have learned quite a few moves here with Matua (Bartlett) already, namely the step-back jump shot.”

Taimarie Matahiki and Aio Waitai hope to attend the academy late next year.  Source / File.

Bartlett recently visited the world-class facility and says this opportunity will help players to take their game to the next level because of its holistic approach.

"Not only do they get skills training by NBA trainers, but they also get their cognition and their mamba rise application. Which works with the mind and they get taken through nutrition classes, what athletes go through as far as fuelling their body." 

The opportunity to attend this world-class facility is a result of a recent partnership between the academy and Auckland based entity, Tour time.

Kobe Bryant shares his insights into the "Mamba Sports Academy". Source / YouTube

As the EB Sports development director, Bartlett recognizes the importance of making these connections in order to develop our local talent

"Everybody knows basketball is booming right now, what everyone should know is that our Māori are quite talented. 

"Our ceiling of potential is very high with our Māori and indigenous communities and this is a way of maximizing that potential."