New Zealand Hoops – Q&A With Shay Haira

What is your full name and where are you from?

Shay Haira (nee Elder) born and raised in Taranaki. Lives in Australia for around 6 years and studied in Wellington.

What is your profession and how long have you been doing it?

I have recently ventured into a new profession. I am currently a Personal Assistant for an amazing Real Estate agent, Kylie Moore, while I study to get my Real Estate Licence. 

What is your involvement with basketball today? 

Today I identify 100% as a coach! I Currently coach Age group representative basketball for Taranaki, I am the assistant coach for the Junior Tall Ferns and last year I was the only woman to (Assistant) Coach in the NZNBL. ☺️ How ever I played age groups growing up in Taranaki from U14 up to Woman’s 1st and 3rd Division in NZ, High school basketball in Australia at John Paul College (National champions) and D league in QLD for Spartans in 2006.

Why did you choose the game of basketball?  

I played growing up and I was a huge Gary Payton fan! I even called our first dog Glove. I was a real tom boy growing up, and there were no other girls playing basketball at my primary school, so I chose to play Mini Ball. 

What school did you attend and did you play basketball?

Went to Sacred Heart Girls College in New Plymouth year 7 – 11 & 13John Paul College in QLD Year 12 (2002)

You are a role model for young women, what advice do you have for them getting into basketball?

I would tell them to never let someone who you wouldn’t ask for advice, opinion influence you. There are a few quotes that I like to live by, and that I use often in team environments. “Good teams become great when the members trust each other, enough to sacrifice the me for we. ““It is ok to loose, but never allow yourself to be beat”

What has been the highlight of your basketball career?

The highlight of my (Coaching) career so far would haver to be representing New Zealand at the U17 Oceania Championships in 2019 as an Assistant Coach. I will always remember the feeling I got the first time I represented New Zealand as a player in 1998, it doesn’t change when you are a Coach. It is the best feeling in the world. 


Who has been your biggest influence in basketball and why?

My parents are and always will be the reason why I coach,why I always strive to do my best at everything I do on and off the court. However,  now that I have a family of my own, my biggest reason and influences will now and always be my Husband Abe, and children Riley and Khloe.

Who is the ultimate women’s basketball player in New Zealand?

Growing up we had so many female role models in basketball, Megan Compain, Leanne Walker, Jody Cameron to name a few. I would like to say that we are yet to see the Best player to come out of New Zealand. I have been lucky enough to coach some amazing talent in the past 7 or so years, However dominating in all age groups right now Charlese Leger-walker has to get a mention. 

If you had one piece of advice for your younger self what would it be

Trust in your self. Work hard and never give up.

#BuildTheCulture 🏀

Published by Jesse Wallis

Basketball Journalist

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