New Zealand Hoops – Q&A With Kalani Purcell

What is your full name and where are you from?

Kalani Purcell from Auckland, NZ

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

I went to high school in Australia. I attended John Paul College in Logan, QLD. In my 3 years at JPC we won secondary school nations in 2010, 11 & 12. In 2012 I was awarded with the most improved athlete award before graduating. 

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

My advice for young women is not specific for basketball, it is for any young woman in whatever they decide to pursue – you can do whatever you set your mind to if you are willing to put in the hard work! If you want to be a baller then you can do it. If you want to be a scientist then you can for sure do it. Your possibilities are limitless! 

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

I have many highlights of my career. To name a few going to college for 4 years, the commonwealth games in 2018 was definitely one of them. Such a fun experience! The 2019 World Cup for 3X3 in Amsterdam was amazing also. Playing at home in NZ for the 2019 Olympic qualifier was an unforgettable tournament, to be able to play in front of Family and friends. Going to a WNBA training camp was an incredible couple weeks as well. That’s just a few but I have so many! 

Who has been your biggest influence in basketball and why?

My biggest influence in basketball is my family. They all individually have helped me in some way or another! Some with on court influences and some off court helping me get the opportunities I’ve had.

Where do you see women’s basketball in the next five years? 

With everything happening it’s hard to know what’s going to happen with the world but hopefully basketball for the female athlete will continue to grow and be more exposed and supported throughout not only New Zealand but the world. Female athletes have talent, it’s about time everyone sees it!

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

There are many amazing female and male ballers it’s hard to pin point one who is the ultimate one. 

Whats the best pair of basketball shoes you have owned?

I used to have a pair of Kobe 6’s that were by far my most favourite shoe to play in. I literally wore them for about 5 years because I was forced to get a new pair because they were so worn out lol. 

You are currently playing in the QSL in Australia,  how’s the season going?

So far in the QSL season we are doing well. We are 4-1 right now and have lot more season to go. It’s been very fun and good competition so far and keen for more games!

You have a famous basketball family, what does it mean to you to have the support and passion within your Whanau? 

Honestly it’s amazing! We are all so competitive and so we push each other all the time with sport and just life. We all want each other to just do well in whatever we do and so to have a family full of basketball players it was challenging to have to live up to the expectations and exceed their personal accolades (a personal goal I set myself), but even better than the competitive/passionate side of my family we are all so supportive of each other as well! We are all each other’s biggest fans and it’s so fun and fulfilling to be part of such a great family – parents and siblings!! 

#BuildTheCulture 🏀

Published by Jesse Wallis

Basketball Journalist

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