Hi, I’m Te Manawanui Tawhara-Crown, I’m 15 years old and live in Kaitaia. I have been selected to go to the Indigenous Basketball Tournament in Arizona, USA
I’ve loved basketball since I can remember and I am currently dedicating my time to training and playing basketball for four days every week, mentoring younger basketball players and joining representative teams. I also have a love for music but have recently decided to dedicate all of my spare time to focus on my future in basketball.
It’s been a tough struggle for my parents getting me to practices, games and tournaments. My younger brother also plays basketball so it’s been a challenge because we are usually the only two from Kaitaia to make it into the rep teams for Taitokerau so we can’t carpool with anyone else!
At times I have felt like giving up because the struggle around cost got too much for us, especially when I was selected to travel to Hawaii last year. I didn’t let this struggle stop me and the community came together to help me get enough money to make this trip happen. My mum and dad also worked really hard to get the money together. I saw the stress on everyone and felt really bad but I believe that one day I can represent NZ so I keep working hard to make all this worth it for them as well. I want to succeed like Steven Adams has. I want to do anything that I can to repay my parents, coaches, communities, and my Iwi for all their sacrifices and support for me. I want to prove to all the juniors that I coach, to my brother, my cousins, nieces, nephews and pretty much every kid in NZ, that you can do ANYTHING.
This Indigenous Basketball Tournament in Arizona, USA is going to be another stepping stone towards my career goal and that’s something I can’t wait to give back to everyone – to confirm that anything is possible.
My family will not be able to raise the cost of the trip without help from others. I promise that I am doing all that I can to fundraise as much of this money as possible. I am busking, fundraising by doing raffles, selling kai and helping at community and youth events. I am very committed to fundraising, however, I am worried that I won’t be able to fundraise enough by the deadline but want to do all that I possibly can to make this trip happen.