In April Sariah Penese was selected to represent NZ U19 Girls basketball Team in China. This team is also known as the Junior Tall Ferns Team.
Sariah was the only player who made the team from Wellington out of 6 trialist in the Wellington Region who were chosen to trial.
Sariah attended the China Tour for the “Four Nations Basketball Tournament” which included:
– Poland U23s
– China U23s
– USA U23s
There was a lot of competition from all countries, especially the USA Team who took out the tournament unbeaten.
USA had players aged from 24yrs to the youngest at 22yrs and players who all play at Division 1 NCAA Colleges in America, a goal in which Sariah is also aiming for.
NZ Junior Tall Ferns came away with 1 win against the Poland Team. They lost to China by just 5 points, and the USA Team within 10 points.
In the Guangdong Province of China, Sariah found herself playing in front of crowds of over 2,400 people. They were very friendly, always wanting to take selfies, even wanting autographs.
Sariah did well through out the tournament, especially playing against the China U23s Team, tallest player at 6″10!
The New Zealand Team played USA, Poland and China 3 times in three different cities in China. The games were played quite late at night which was something Sariah had to get used too.
With this experience, Sariah’s motivation has been fuelled to fulfil her goal of securing a full scholarship to a University/College in America. Sariah is due to sit her SAT American Academic exam next month to give her an indication of where she needs to be academically in order to create opportunities for her to be eligible to not just play in America at a College but also work towards a degree in Journalism or education while she enjoys playing her sport of Basketball, that’s if playing in the WNBA falls through.