Steven Adams opens new courts in Rangitāne

By Ruth Smith

The Oklahoma City Thunder centre continues his pursuit to provide for youth.

"Basketball has helped me to this position that I am now and it's just about giving back and giving kids that opportunity," says Adams.

This weekend, the 25 year-old will open a brand new Play Area and Basketball court in one of the toughest neighbourhoods of Rangitāne in Palmerston North.

“For these kids to have somebody like Steven come back and not only put these camps on but come out and spend a little bit of time with them it’s pretty special.  I don’t know if they know how lucky they are,” said former Tall Black Lindsay Tait.

that the fully funded initiative aims to develop future ballers.

“The High School Invitational that’s coming up is really exciting.  These kids are essentially the top high school kids in New Zealand that are being picked and it’s all been paid for and to have kids have that as a goal to achieve I think is big time.  If I knew that there was an NBA player throwing a high school camp every year, I’d be in the gym working,” said Tait.

The opening will precede the High School Invitational game that will profile 40 of the nation’s top young basketballers.

“We've been talking about it for the last couple of years and we definitely think it's needed.  It's just a good opportunity for the top kids to get some exposure because that's the toughest thing they face. As an athlete from New Zealand, it's about exposure," said Adams.

But for now, Adams is focusing on the task at hand, inspiring the youth of New Zealand to play Basketball at his camps held in Auckland, Palmerston North and Dunedin.

“I don’t know if you can put a price on this in terms of how good it is for the game.  It’s obviously good for basketball and it’s good for the kids, so, it’s all positive.”

The Steven Adams High School invitational games will be broadcast live on Māori Television from 4pm - 7.30pm from the Manawatu Arena on Sunday.