Raukawa keen to make his mark in 2018

By Eru Paranihi

Breakers impact player Derone Raukawa is hoping a new year will bring him more time on the court. Off the court, Raukawa is also embarking on a new journey for 2018.

The Ngāi Tūhoe and Ngāti Raukawa lad has decided to learn Te Reo Māori this year. He, along with assistant coach Judd Flavell, and Jordan Ngatai have enrolled at AUT University.

Raukawa says, “When I go to all the family events with my Māori family, especially my Nan she talks a lot of Māori. I always have to ask you to say it in English.”

“I know Kia Ora, kei te pēhea koe? And that's about it."

For nearly two years, the 23-year-old has been warming the bench for the Breakers, but he's ready to mix it up with the big boys.

“Everyone wants more minutes but I will fit in where I fit in. If they need me I'm always here. I'm working hard I'm always ready.”

“Last year I had an injury at the start of the season and this year I have been clean throughout the whole thing.”

Raukawa is one of five development players in the Breakers. Coach Paul Henare has been impressed with the enthusiasm shown by these players both on the court, and at training.

Says Henare, “These last two weeks I've had a couple of injuries and I've just sort of been managing and getting through, Derone's stepped in.”

“It's not an easy job but I've they've very well.”

The Breakers resume their NBL season this week. With seven rounds to go, that should be enough time for Raukawa to make his way into the starting line-up.