What is your full name and do you have any nicknames?
Joshua James Paurini or Jp/Jpo for short
What is your current involvement with basketball?
Currently I am the Assistant Coach of the Taranaki Steelformers Airs in the 2020 NBL Showdown currently being played up in Auckland
Why did you choose the game of basketball?
Basketball has always been in my blood so I never saw myself playing anything else. My father Maurice played many seasons in the NBL and my mother Marcia was an NBL refferee so playing in the National League had been a goal of mine since I was old enough to know what a goal was.
What school did you attend and did you play basketball?
I attended Spotswood College in New Plymouth but didn’t take my Basketball seriously until I started at Te Wananga O Aotearoa in Hamilton under Merv Tait where we were taught Tab Baldwin’s High Performance Basketball system.
You are a role model for young men and women, what advice do you have for them getting into basketball?
Set goals for yourself and write them down. Set them higher than what you think you can get and if your able pay people such as Trainers who have high Basketball and performance training experience.
What has been the highlight of your career?
Hitting 2 Buzzer beating 3 point shots in one game vs the Nuggets one year for the Mountain Airs was cool but the highlight for me is definitely the season I got to play with and train daily with Cody Toppert. Cody is the current Assistant Coach of the Memphis Tigers in the NCAA but last year was the Player Development Coach of the Phoenix Suns which is my favourite NBA team.
Who has been your biggest influence in basketball and why?
Cody Toppert. He took me under his wing as a young player and taught me a lot of the skill development, shooting specific and mental training that I utilise with any athlete that I am lucky enough to train today.
Who is the ultimate women’s basketball player in New Zealand?
For me it’s Tania Tupu back in the day because of her style and work ethic but I also think Kayla Manurangi is one to look out for in the future for those same reasons.
If you have one piece of advice to give to your younger self what would it be?
Set higher goals and ask my coaches more questions.
You are the assistant coach for the Taranaki Mountainairs, how’s the season going?
We are currently at the top of the Table 6-3 at the hallway point and the team that Coach Courtney has put together is showing why we chose them. We are getting a lot out of our 1-2 punch of Marcel and Derone and everyone else is starting to definitely push for more minutes. I wish we could play 5 or 6 quarters as I know we could easily give our bench guys more opportunities and I know first hand how important it is to stay ready so those guys have really impressed me. We still have a long way to go but as long as we can keep improving a little bit each game then that’s all we can ask of them. Having amazing sponsors like we do in Taranaki has also been crucial to our success and on behalf of the entire team I would like to thank Steelformers, JD Hickman, Dynasty, Plymouth International, Invivo & Co and Shining Peak Brewing for everything they do for us. There are a lot more people that are behind us than just these sponsors and all of the team thank you for your support as well!