Juggling sports, social life and study can be a challenge for teenagers but Maia Wilson makes it look easy. She speaks with Julian Raethel about how she uses size to her advantage.
At a towering 192cm tall Maia Wilson says she hasn't finished growing yet.
That's a worry for her opposition on the basketball court.
"I like to use my body to my advantage. I love the physical stuff," Maia says.
"I guess that's why my team-mates tell me they hate playing against me at training."
Maia has wasted no time establishing herself as a feared power forward and centre.
The 16-year-old basketball star has played for Waitakere West Auckland right throughout the age groups, making numerous success stories along the way.
In the under-17s national final last year she scored 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists to help lead her team to the title over North Harbour.
Her performance also earned her the MVP crown for the tournament.
"That was the cherry on the top," Maia says.
"Usually the point guards get the glory so it was something special."
She has represented Junior Tall Ferns sides but injury forced her out of the FIBA Oceania World qualifiers last year.
"I've had some trouble with my left ankle and rolled it twice leading up to the tournament," Maia says.
"From that I injured my achilles tendon on my other foot. It was a run of bad luck at the wrong time."
Maia's talents don't stop there.
She's also a force on the netball court, making the New Zealand Secondary Schools team and winning the national title with her Mt Albert Grammar School side last year.
"Basketball is more of an international sport but netball has more funding here.
"My goal is to be a dual international for New Zealand, which is a lot harder to do these days. But a decision will have to be made about which sport I favour eventually."
Whatever way Maia does choose she will have time - and height - on her side.
Name: Maia Wilson
Lives in: Hillsborough
Teams: Waitakere West Auckland Basketball Under-17s, Junior Tall Ferns, New Zealand Secondary Schools Netball side.
Favourite television show:Big Brother Australia
Favourite dish: Baby back ribs.
If I wasn't playing basketball and netball I'd be: Involved in shot put or discus.
- Western Leader
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