What is your full name and where are you from?
Jenna Kensington from Opunake, Taranaki.
What team do you play for?
I play for the Taranaki Thunder.
What is your current profession and how long have you been doing it?
I work in Human Resources at Taranaki District Health Board and have been there almost 5 years.
Why did you choose the game of basketball?
I come from a big family (4sisters) and we were brought up on the sidelines of sports fields and courts. Both my parents played basketball as well as being involved in committees and running local competitions in Opunake. I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to play too. My parents ran the local primary school Comp when we were young and I started playing in year 7. I have been playing ever since. I also play netball but basketball comes more naturally to me, I love the game.
What school did you attend and did you play basketball?
I went to New Plymouth Girls High School and played basketball in the senior team from year 11-13. We went to secondary school nationals every year and were placed fourth when I was year 11.
You are role model for young women, what advice do you have for them getting into basketball or refereeing?
Play as much as you can for a variety of coaches to learn different ways to the game. Play with older women when you are young, you learn so much from them. And don’t let anyone make you feel bad for being good at this sport.
What has been the highlight of your career?
I really enjoyed playing in the Queensland D League a few years ago now. It’s was a great comp and we travelled and played every weekend against really strong teams. We won the comp in 2010. It was nice to train hard and play each week, something we seem to be heading towards in New Zealand.
Who has been your biggest influence in basketball and why?
My mum and dad. They have been involved in basketball associations and committees my whole life. Every grade I’ve moved through they have got involved to be sure there was a good competition for girls and women. When I moved home from the UK 7 years ago there was no Taranaki women’s team so my dad started a committee and worked with BBNZ to get Taranaki a team.
Who is the ultimate women’s basketball player in New Zealand?
I really like Micaela Cocks. She is always so fit and in amazing physical condition, you can tell she is really committed to her fitness. And as a guard I admire her skills.
If you have one piece of advice to give to your younger self what would it be?
If you really want to be great at this game have a ball in your hand everyday.