• Patrick McBride

Mahuika Magic!

Ella Mahuika continues to impress on court. The West Coast basketball representative has just returned from a National U15 tournament held in the North Island as top points scorer.

The West Coast side struggled against the best in the country but to their credit fought hard and came home with a victory against Kapati.

Mahuika ended the tournament on top of the points table with the West Coaster heading off 14 other sides averaging 24.8 points per game, ahead of well-known ballers, Ashlyn Rean (Canterbury) 22, Waimanu Clarken (Auckland) 20.67, Lilly Taulelei (Wellington) 18.5 and Madison Cunningham (Hawke's Bay) 18, rounding off the top 5.

Ella comes from good sporting stock with parents Tarn and Dean Mahuika both well known for wearing the red and white colours in a range of sports. The youngster has been offered and accepted a sports scholarship to attend St Margaret's College in Christchurch for 2021.

This is an all-girls school with close to 800 students from Year 1-13 with sports programs covering basketball and netball which are Ella's two main sports.

She has also recently trailed for the Waitaha U17s and has been selected in the squad. Greymouth High School Sports Coordinator Maddy Crawford said this requires a huge amount of commitment with weekly training in Christchurch.

"She is never one to back down from a challenge, plus her fantastic family are always there to support her. Although we are gutted to have this sports woman and excellent human leave our school, we are ecstatic that she is pursuing this opportunity and we wish Ella all the best for this next stage in her school career." Crawford added.

The girl from Grey with her sights set on the big time has also been working with one of the best in Sam Dempster, Nelson Giants captain.

"I have worked with Ella for 2 years now. She has a great work ethic and a huge future in basketball, definitely a young athlete to watch in the future!"

With the absence of Ella on court at the Westland Rec Centre locals can now follow her younger sibling who is already well on her way to stamping a mark on the game.