1. Tell me a bit about you contract in Italy, how did you get the contract?
Adoniah: “I got the contract through my agent I was initially offered something to another club within Italy and it was about to go ahead until they realised I wasn’t 5’10 and they were needing someone who was let’s say a lot taller. So I told them I have the perfect player for you and sent them Keziah’s details so within roughly a day she was flying out of Rarotonga for Italy.”
Keziah: “It all happened so fast like I didn’t even know how I felt about, it was extremely overwhelming and crazy. I had to hand in my resignation to my poor boss over the weekend and I was sad to leave MFEM as they have been so supportive. But at the end of the day you have only a few opportunities in sport as a female athlete and also a short time to play professionally so to start it in Europe was something I couldn’t say no to.”
2. Prior to Italy, where and for who you were playing?
Adoniah: “Prior to Italy, I was playing in the UK for the Sheffield Hatters.”
Keziah: “I had just finished playing at Kent State University in Ohio and came back to Rarotonga to gain some experience as an economic analyst.”
3. How has life been so far away from home? What you enjoyed most about Italy apart from basketball?
Adoniah: “I think for both of us life has been extremely fulfilling as we realise we have been extremely fortunate to be able to play and earn a living. It’s something that isn’t extremely common with female athletes. So we’re really grateful. We have also been fortunate enough to still represent the country and win a gold medal at the Mini Games so in some ways although being far from home we are still able to give back. Regarding Italy, I enjoyed the culture and history they have both proven to be incredible. Oh and the food and to be honest, Italy is an amazing place. The language barrier was one of the problems as I only had one person in my team that spoke English, everyone else didn’t understand anything I said. One time I substituted myself into the game thinking that’s what my coach was asking (Haha). I soon found out it definitely wasn’t.”
Keziah: “I enjoyed the food and my teammates were a lot of fun. The funniest part was the language because no one really spoke English in my team.”
4. Tell me a bit about how you got into basketball. I understand you were pretty good in other sports as well.
Adoniah: “We both got into basketball through a very close family friend. He loved the game and was a very talented coach he saw that we both had potential and we both loved the game so encouraged us to play. Dad (Owen Lewis) was a massive part of it as well, he believed from a young age we should play every sport and the pathway for basketball can be used as a tool to get a great education and life experiences, which has pretty much what we have both done. Our family have always been extremely supportive with whatever we do so we are so lucky.”
5. Describe your best moment in basketball?
Adoniah: “Best moment has definitely been winning gold at Mini Games last year. We both had tasted success at age group level. Kez’s age group team would win a medal nearly every year but to get a gold at international level for the Cook Islands was so awesome.”
6. You have played and won trophies, medals with the national team. What’s your future plans with the national team?
Adoniah: “Well we have the Pacific Games next year so being in the best shape for that is the short term goal. I think from that we are hoping to earn a pathway to the Olympics.”
7. What’s your ultimate aim in basketball?
Adoniah: “Olympics for sure. To be able to compete at the highest international level would be a dream come true. The amount of pressure, and stress you put your body through to be in the best possible shape for competition is the most rewarding and challenging part so I give credit to anyone competing at an international level.”