Rising basketball star Bianca Small aims to impress in the US

Basketballer Bianca Small is shooting for the stars as she prepares to head to Las Vegas, in the hope of securing a ...
Mytchall Bransgrove/Fairfax NZ

Basketballer Bianca Small is shooting for the stars as she prepares to head to Las Vegas, in the hope of securing a college scholarship.

Mountainview High School basketballer Bianca Small is chasing her dream of playing for a United States college basketball team.

To increase her chances, the 17-year-old point guard has signed for a New Zealand-based under-20 team Storm, which annually takes a group of talented basketballers to compete in a tournament in Las Vegas.

Small said they would face teams from a number of states, including Hawaii and Oklahoma.

"There will likely be hundreds there trying out."

Small said most importantly there would be scouts for the colleges and possibly some coaches.

"It is a big opportunity, I can't wait."

Small has been playing basketball for five years and has represented South Canterbury under-19 for two years and also been part of a New Zealand Pacific team that has played in Australia.

She also has an advantage of being an American citizen, thanks to mother Kym.

"I never been to the States but ideally would like to be close to Virginia, where my mum is from."

The tournament is in July so Small is training at the gym every day and regularly practising her shooting drills.

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"I will also get a programme to follow shortly from the Storm."

Small said she wasn't sure of her chances but was going to give it her best shot.

She will also take part in a basketball training camp in Timaru in April run by Impact.

As well as teaching skills and drills, Impact will also take video footage highlighting her skills, which can be put on YouTube.

Small said she knew of at least one player recruited to a US college after being spotted on the internet.

"You just have to try everything."

As well as practice, Small has to fund-raise to get there.

She had put up a Give-a-little web page and was planning to run raffles and a quiz.

To help Bianca out go to givealittle.co.nz/profile/individual/biancasmall9

 - The Timaru Herald

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