NBA’s Steven Adams coaches local players

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New Zealand’s basketball sensation Steven Adams is in Nelson today, hoping to inspire the next generation of NBA players, but it was a Nelson favourite that helped inspire him.

The Oklahoma City Thunder basketballer says Nelson Giant Mika Vukona is one of his favourite players and he looked up to him when he was playing in high school. “He went out every day and gave it his all. He’s a true professional athlete and just a really nice guy off the court.”

He says they’re the attributes he tries to live by and something he’s hoping to pass on to the youngsters of Nelson, who he is coaching today and tomorrow.

Steven – who has shot to fame after staring in the world’s toughest basketball competition, the NBA – is in town to host a New Zealand Academy camp with his mentor and former NBL player Kenny McFadden.

He says he enjoys hosting the camps and the message is all about education, as well as basketball.

“It’s bizarre this camp is on a Thursday, we’d much rather a weekend because we preach the education side of things. So them skipping school to attend is a litte err…”

The camp is for players aged 7 to 18 and his being held at Saxton Stadium.

Yesterday he visited Nelson College and tomorrow he will host a camp for the regions players with special needs, as well as visiting Motueka High School.