Five months, two NZ teams


There appears to be no offseason on Gracie Roberts’ calendar.

Just five months after representing New Zealand at volleyball, the multi-talented Waimea College student has been selected to represent her country at basketball in the Emerging Junior Tall Ferns squad.

In between both sports Gracie also plays netball for the Waimea College senior A team that finished second in the top local division and she used to play touch rugby.

Gracie says her selection in the FIBA Oceania Pacific Youth Championships team tops representing the New Zealand Under-17 volleyball team. “It’s always been a dream to play for New Zealand,” she says. “Basketball is my favourite but I enjoy mixing it up with all of the sports but my main aim was to make this basketball team. Playing volleyball for New Zealand was pretty cool and I didn’t expect to be selected for that at all.”
Able to play in any of the guard of forward positions, the multi-talented teen began playing basketball when she was at Henley School and has been heavily influenced by her family. Both of her parents played basketball and her older sister Summer recently made the New Zealand Under-18 basketball team.

Gracie’s aim is to cement herself a spot in the New Zealand set-up. A national side will aim to qualify for the FIBA Junior World Championship in her final year of high school and she wants to be an established member of the squad by then. “That’s the main thing I want to get into.”
Gracie also has a training camp for the New Zealand secondary school netball team but was playing down her chances of making a third national team in one year. “I don’t know if I’ll do that well in netball, compared to others in the North Island anyway. But we’ll see.”

She says her family has been supportive towards her two trips overseas and was happy to continue playing a range of sports. She hopes to one day earn a US scholarship, but in what sport, she doesn’t know.