New Tall Fern starting long basketball journey

01 September 2021 | News

Lincoln basketball scholar Lauryn Hippolite has just been named in the national Tall Ferns side.

She will be leaving for Jordan on September 13 for a preparation camp ahead of the FIBA Asia Cup at the end of the month.

The Canterbury Wildcat has also just become a development player for the Melbourne Boomers, so she will be packing for a trip that won’t see her home until March next year.

She will be continuing her studies for her Bachelor of Food Science degree online.

Lauryn is already a seasoned traveller through sport. 

In 2018, she received a scholarship to play Division 2 basketball in the PacWest conference for Hawaii Pacific University, travelling to locations like Alaska, Guam, Australia, California, and other islands in Hawaii to compete.

She returned back to New Zealand after her freshman year in Hawaii when the scholarship wasn’t continued for financial reasons and she "found her new home at Lincoln".

"I am beyond excited for these opportunities and can’t believe it is all happening so fast," she said. "My goal in 2019 was to make a Tall Ferns camp, so making the team was a real shock. And with the opportunity in Australia, it is one step closer to playing basketball professionally.

"We (the Tall Ferns) will be playing very high calibre international teams, such as Japan (who just came second at the Olympics), China, Australia and South Korea. We need to finish in the top four at the tournament to earn a spot at the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers in February 2022. 

"After the tournament, and the mandatory two-week managed isolation, I will be staying in Australia to begin preseason training with the Melbourne Boomers.

"I will be a development player for the Melbourne WNBL team and will get the opportunity to train with the team and suit up for home games. The Australian WNBL is in one of the biggest professional basketball leagues, second to the WNBA," Lauryn said.

She said the opportunity arose through Guy Molloy, Head Coach of the Tall Ferns as well as the Melbourne Boomers.

"Obviously with New Zealand’s alert levels, preparation has looked a lot different, however I have been able to keep my skills up, stay fit and ready. I have had an abundance of support over these last few years from my family, friends, and coaching staff so I am really excited to make them all proud.

"There are many people to thank, and without them I don’t think these opportunities would have arisen. Mel Downer, my Lincoln and Canterbury Wildcats Head Coach has been pivotal in my professional development over the recent years, as well as Kylie Cox my physio and manager.

"Hoani Smith and Josh Thompson from Lincoln have believed in me from the beginning and have put a lot of time into my development. 

"I am a bit nervous about being away for so long, especially with the unpredictability of COVID. I may not have any family come visit or watch me play.

"However, I know I’ll be super busy so I think I’ll manage for the seven months I will be out of country.”

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