Future basketball stars brought their A-game to a training session with the pros.
About 70 children from all over Auckland visited the Breakers in Mairangi Bay as part of the team's community partnership programme.
The programme's manager Hayden Allen says it is about making champions on and off the court by giving kids confidence.
The children watched part of a training session before meeting the players and getting signatures.
They were then put through their paces by community coaches and were rewarded with a free basketball.
Georgia Herrell, 9, says the session was "tiring and awesome" while Amalie Hoban, 7, and Will Schmidt, 7, agree it was "really cool".
The experience was organised by Life Education Trust, one of the team's community partners. The trust takes a positive, health-based programme to schoolchildren via mobile classrooms with the help of mascot Harold the giraffe.
Chairman Barry Kirk-Burnnand says the last time Harold visited a Breakers game one of the Australian players recognised the mascot from his own time at school and gave him a high five.
Mr Kirk-Burnnand says the trust would like to come back every year.
"The kids just love it," he says.
"It's a new experience for a lot of kids I'm sure."
Finn Hoban, 9, says meeting the players was cool because they asked all the children their name and favourite food.
His favourite player is Kerron Johnson because "he scores a lot of goals".
Finn says he will definitely be playing basketball this year and would love to be in the Breakers.
"It's probably a draw with being an All Black," he says.
His sister Amalie, 7, is less convinced.
"I'm sticking with netball," she says.
- North Shore Times
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