Young Māori basketballer sets her sights on distant horizons

Many Māori are involved in basketball, but not all of them get to play basketball in America. However, that is exactly what Michelle Nicolls from Ngāti Tūwharetoa will be doing after getting a basketball scholarship to an American high school.

Meet Michelle Nicolls, a descendant of Ngati Tuwahretoa, and a gun at basketball.

She first played basketball as an eight year old, and now at just 16 she's been given a basketball scholarship to Life Centre Academy in America

"It's cool. I've always wanted to go over there and play" says Michelle.

Carl Buck made this opportunity happen and he's also been working with Michelle on court, and he says, she has the goods to go far in basketball.

"She's one of the best, she can do some things that some of the boys can't do"

Michelle is in the Under 18 NZ basketball team, she's also a member of the Waitākere womens team, but this opportunity is amazing.

"She's going to a Top 50 school in the States which is really hard to get in a Top 50 school, as far as playing wise they play against Divison One talent" says Carl.

"Kids play basketball to want to go and play in the States, that's why they do it, so for us to help her to do that and for her to do it on her own it's unbelievable" adds Michelle.

But for now before she heads off to a foreign land, Michelle will keep chipping away at her craft that she loves so much.