Koteka set for Cook Islands basketball debut

Tuesday August 13, 2019 Written by Published in Other Sports
Jordan Koteka will represent the Cook Islands in the 2019 FIBA U17 Oceania Qualifiers.  19081137 Jordan Koteka will represent the Cook Islands in the 2019 FIBA U17 Oceania Qualifiers. 19081137

Pakuranga School student Jordan Koteka will make her Cook Islands debut in the upcoming 2019 FIBA U17 Oceania Qualifiers.

The qualifiers will be held in New Caledonia, starting on Monday next week.

Koteka, a Year 11 student, plays for Counties Manukau basketball team and is a key part of the Pakuranga College girl’s premier side.

In a statement, Pakuranga School said Koteka was recently invited to play in the United States with the New Zealand Storm side in a number tournaments.

Josiah Maama, the head of basketball at Pakuranga College, said: “These tournaments are exposure events for high school players who are playing in front of USA university coaches looking to recruit players on scholarships.

“The New Zealand Storm have been touring for a number of years now, and have had some success with players attaining scholarships with their play in these AAU tournaments. Jordan came back from her trip a much more aggressive and controlled player.”

Pakuranga College girl’s premier coach Sione Maama said Koteka’s selection in the Cook Islands U17 team came as no surprise to him given her ongoing success in the sport.

“Jordan is a talented multi-athlete, who excels in not only basketball, but netball, softball, football, and more. She is well liked by her teammates, and always leaves it out on the floor. She is super competitive on the court, but at the same time has a very caring and welcoming side that her peers appreciate. She dominates games and is has multiple tools in both offense and defence that make her stand out,” Sione said.

Koteka said she is looking forward to representing Cook Islands in the weeklong event.

“I love being part of our basketball family. We support each other on and off the court. Our motto is ‘Team, Sisters, Work Hard!” Koteka said.

Majority of the players in the national boys and girls teams come from New Zealand and Australia but the federation wants local players in the side to help with the development of the sport in the country.

The U17 team will include five Rarotonga-based players. They are Brander Manarangi, Nicole Tiaore, Devon Marona, Penina Arnold and Iotia Ponga.

The team is attending a camp in New Zealand before flying to Noumea on Thursday.

Cook Islands will be taking on the likes of Pacific rivals Fiji and Guam as well as Oceania giants New Zealand and Australia.

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