New Zealand Hoops – Q&A With Penina Davidson

What is your full name and where are you from?

Penina Davidson – Auckland, New Zealand

Why did you choose the game of basketball?

I didn’t initially, my parents forced me to play. I tried to fake injuries so I didn’t have to play every Wednesday night. When I got better though, that’s when I realised how cool basketball was.

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


St Cuths until I was yr 10 and then Rangitoto. University of California Berkeley. My favourite highlight is graduating from Berkeley, because it’s the number 1 public university in the world 😁

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

Thank you! Depends on how old they are I think, if they’re in intermediate or younger my biggest advice is to just enjoy it as much as you can (all the serious stuff will come soon.) when you’re older take every opportunity you can possibly get when it comes to the game. Train against boys, hit up people who have gone to college/pros, get to know your coaches! All of it.

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

Playing for the Ferns to try qualify for Olympics at the gym I grew up in.

Who has been your biggest influence in basketball and why?

I can’t credit this to just one person, this one is definitely for everyone that’s picked me up whenever I’ve wanted to give up.

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

In New Zealand it’s for sure going to be a lot bigger & better then it already is. Already the number of girls going to college is waaay more. Even the little ones first starting out.

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

I plead the fifth for this lol.

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

I again plead the fifth lol.

Whats the best pair of kicks you have owned?

I had a sick pair of Kobe’s but then they got stolen so now that memory is salty. I’ll go with the new balance lows I currently have.

You played in the Showcase on August 1st, what was it like to be apart of that experience?

It was amazing to see the younger talent coming through that I’ll hopefully be playing with in the next few years.

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

The funny thing about getting older is all those cliche sayings you used to hear about just make sense now. WHO CARES WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK JUST GO FOR IT ALL. Also don’t take yourself so seriously, life is way too short for all that. Sorry that was two things 😅.

Will you pursue basketball in a different shape and form after your playing career?

Most definitely. I really hope I can help the women’s game grow even when I’m done. Also want to help all the kids in the game trying to find their way.

You have spoken publicly about your battle with bipolar, what advice do you have for those who are struggling out there?

Keep your hands positively busy – whatever you create/do with your hands make sure it has a positive nature. Also, it sounds odd but you have to choose not to give in. Adversity will always happen, make that your bestfriend. If it gets you down one day It’s okay to be upset, but you have to choose to not let it consume you.

You play for the Melbourne Boomers and the Harbour Breeze, please tell me about these experiences?

I love playing for both teams. Melbourne city is one of my favourite places & I LOVE being able to stay home during a small part of the year. Both my coaches are also part of the Tall Ferns team so it’s awesome as having everything connected.

What does it mean to you to be a Tall Fern?

I could retire today & be happy with basketball because I get to say I was a Tall Fern. I also cry every single time I hear the anthem before a game 😂

#BuildTheCulture 🏀

Published by Jesse Wallis

Basketball Journalist

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