New Zealand Hoops – Q&A With Sam Timmins

What is your full name and where are you from?

My Full names Samuel Alexander William Timmins, I’m from Dunedin.

Why did you choose the game of basketball? 

Initially just went to hang out with my mates but ended up enjoying it way more than rugby and eventually dropped everything else for it.

What schools did you attend and what were your achievements and highlights?

I went to Otago Boys High School, we won nationals in 2014 which is my second biggest basketball highlight closely following playing for the Tall Blacks. Meant a lot to me to win that title with all the boys, especially since we’d all pretty much been training together since year 9. 

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

The biggest lesson basketballs taught me so far is definitely that you get out what you put in. That’s in basketball and in life, the more you put into working on yourself the universe has a way of making sure it pays off in some way shape or form. 

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

The biggest moment in my career was playing for the Tall Blacks, that’s a tour I’ll never forget. It came halfway through my college career and it had been so long since I’d played basketball with other Kiwi’s and it was like a massive breath of fresh air. I loved my college experience and I made lifelong friends but there’s something so special about being able to represent your country alongside the nations best, and play for/build relationships with such accomplished players that came before me in Pauli and PC. I think a lot of kiwis can struggle with their identity a bit when they’re overseas. Spending 4 years in an environment that really doesn’t understand anything about them and their background can make you feel pretty isolated at times, even for people who make real good mates. So not only did I get to achieve the highest honour for a Kiwi hooper to put on the black singlet, but it came at such a crucial time in my career and was invaluable for me mentally. 

Who has been your biggest influence in basketball and why?

There has been so many people that have inspired me in my career, and I’d also add to the advice question that looking to others for inspiration is a crucial part of any journey. Be your own person and carve your own path but don’t be afraid to reach out to people you look up to and are inspired by and let them know/thank them/ask questions. It’s a competitive sport but we’re all in this together as players and wanna see everyone succeed. To answer the question there are too many names but the biggest thing I’ve been inspired by lately are people who do the things I’ve just talked about, unapologetically themselves, not to cool to show love, and also just work really hard.

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

We’ve got so many players that can straight up hoop and that was obvious watching the players in the Tall Fern’s showcase, and I may be biased but gotta go Zoe Richards. Putting on for the Blue and Gold! 

Who is the ultimate mens basketball player in New Zealand? 

Same thing I said for the girls, NZ basketball is so exciting to be a part of at the moment coz there so much talent and there’s more cropping up every year. Can’t decide on the the best but the most underrated have to be Joe Cook-Green and Richard Rodger, if Joe hadn’t gotten injured he would’ve been a FORCE in the nbl this year and Richie definitely hasn’t gotten enough credit for the role he played in the Nuggets bringing the cup home. 

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

Without a doubt the thing that would mean the most to me as a player would be to win Olympic gold for the Tall Blacks. 

Who is winning this year’s NBA championship? 

To be fair I did wanna see LeBron get another ring but at the moment I reckon I want Luka and the Mavs to take it out. That dudes special. 

Whats the best pair of basketball shoes you have owned? 

I’ve never been much of a sneaker head so I’ve never gotten super attached to any one pair of shoes but I do remember loving the 2014 Hyperrevs, probably just coz that’s what I was wearing when we won schoolboy nats though haha. 

You played in this years NBL. What were the highlights for you?

There were a lot of notable moments like beating the Nuggets the first time we played them, having Mum able to be at my first win as a professional basketball player, but my favourite part was being able to hang out and play with/against so many players I grew up playing with/against that I haven’t even seen in years.

#BuildTheCulture 🏀

Published by Jesse Wallis

Basketball Journalist

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