New Zealand Hoops – Q&A With Kane Keil

📷 @photosportnz

What is your full name and where are you from?

Kane Keil, Auckland, New Zealand

Why did you choose basketball? 

It was the sport that sat with me at a young age and just never stopped loving it.

What schools did you attend? 

  • St. Peters college AKL
  • Auckland grammar (yr12-13)
  • 2 years at Barstow community college (california)
  • 1 year redshirt at Chaminade university of Honolulu (D2 in Hawaii)
  • 2 years at University of Antelope Valley 

What were your achievements and highlights?

  • Made all-conference teams all 4 years
  • Won 3 conference titles out of the 4 playing years, back to back titles with UAV
  • Coming out with my degree 
  • Gaining a bunch of new friends over the years

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

Just keep working hard, don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable, nothing happens overnight so work and you’ll reap the rewards later. 

What has been the ultimate highlight so far in your career? 

I think the recent NZNBL showdown championship would be the ultimate highlight because I was never able to get an age group New Zealand title and to come back from the states and win one straight away was pretty awesome. 

Who has been your biggest influence in basketball and why?

Has to be my dad an old baller that will still claim he’s got it haha, but nah he’s the reason why I am where I am, the constant effort on his behalf to make sure I’m doing what I need to do and doing the right things, the many car rides before and after games talking about what the goals are for games individually and as a team and then run downs about the game after. The biggest influence has to be him couldn’t be anyone else. 

Where do you see the mens game in this country in the next five years? 

It’s forever growing and at an exponential rate in New Zealand so honestly I would not be surprised if it takes over rugby at some point in the near future. But I see the youth development getting better and better as the older players who are almost retiring will now have the means to start giving back and helping the youth and thats just starting the cycle and making New Zealand basketball that much stronger. 

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

Far out there is so many honestly how do you even choose! I reckon the women’s side of the game here in NZ is super strong and more could be done for a women’s national basketball league here in NZ but in terms of talent the women have so many good players   

📷 @photosportnz

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

Once again there are so many guys that are awesome in New Zealand guys that can absolutely fill it up and do everything and anything on the court so that’s a super tough decision   

In terms of your playing career, what would be the pinnacle for you?

Just being able to play and provide for the family being able to get paid to do something you love for awhile so it does never seem like you’re working. 

Whats the best pair of basketball shoes you have owned? 

See now this question right here is tough, I have had my fair share of basketball shoes haha, but I reckon it has to be a shoe from the Nike KD line, the 4s 6s and 11s by far are the most comfy and best looking from the line. But if had to pick 1 shoe would be the “KD 4 tour yellow and photo blue”

Congratulations on winning the NBL Championship with the Otago Nuggets. Please talk us through the season and share with us your highlights. 

Thank you very much, it was a huge blessing to have the NBL showdown after my senior year at university being cut short in the states. Earning the championship was just icing on the cake it was a tough grind for 6 weeks trying to stay healthy but I feel blessed to have represented the nuggets and create bonds with all the boys and the staff during the 6 weeks that we were all cooped up in sky city. Well we started off pretty good with multiple wins then went on a bit of a slide I think we had dropped 2  or 3 games in a week period but during that time we as a team were still trying to figure each other out. But I reckon our chemistry after that point was so good that it carried us throughout the tournament and all the way to the championship. A big highlight for me would be getting the opportunity of playing with well experienced guys like JK and Ngatai. 

📷 @photosportnz

#BuildTheCulture 🏀

Published by Jesse Wallis

Basketball Journalist

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