What is your full name and where are you from?
Ho Thean Aik, born in Malaysia and move to NZ in 1988.
Why did you choose the game of basketball?
Watched the Lakers and Showtime
You played basketball in your youth, please tell us more?
I grew up in Malaysia where sports is not so popular like in NZ, Basketball was mainly played outdoors due to the weather. I played soccer and badminton mainly when growing up and only playing basketball casually.
Got more serious once I got to NZ and into High school at Northcote College. I was lucky enough to be selected for our Northcote College Premier boys team when I was in Year 11. At high school in NZ, I played as many sport as I could and it was great fun.
You are a role model for young men and women, what advice do you have for them getting into basketball?
It’s the greatest game in the world, I have not seen anyone who has picked and committed to Basketball and have regretted it later. You get out what you put into the game. Trust the Process. Enjoy and love the game and great things will happen.
You are an assistant Coach for the Tall Ferns and the head Coach of the Auckland Dream, What made you get into Coaching Womens basketball?
I got into Coaching girls because of my own two daughters. I knew one day I would have to coach them so I got involved and it has been a real blessing.
What has been the ultimate highlight so far in your Coaching career?
My family – having a very amazing and supportive team!! My Why!
1 August 2020 – Blessed to Coach the Tall Ferns in the Showdown and winning NBL championship in my home gym at Trust Arena for a fairytale season with my family being part of the moment together. PERFECTION!
Who has been your biggest influence in basketball and why?
Judy and Rob Crooks and Crooks family – Judy got me involved in Coaching when I was in high school and to give back and help others. Haven’t stopped!
Who is the ultimate referee in New Zealand?
Dallas Pickering – awesome fella
Who is the ultimate women’s basketball player in New Zealand?
Charmian Purcell – Awesome role model and person
Megan Compain – our first WNBA player and great person
Who is the ultimate mens basketball player in New Zealand?
Pero – epitomises what NZ basketball is all about. Bleed Black!
What is the most rewarding aspect of being Coach?
Watching them grow up!!! Family and Aroha.
Helping others achieve something they couldn’t do by themselves.
Seeing a team/player achieve their goals against all odds.
What are the best pair of basketball shoes you have owned?
Nike Air Jordan 4s
You were an assistant Coach for the Otago Nuggets in this years NBL, what were the highlights for you?
Fairy tale season – Winning with Jarrod Kenny, I started my coaching career with JK, 30 years ago. A young Nuggets team with a great bunch of people. Seeing Brent M winning Coach of Year. Seeing Players like Jordan Ngatai getting ANBL contract with Taipans, helping our young players get their first professional contract to play basketball. Getting Nuggets back in the NBL and seeing the great support from the Otago community.
Using basketball as a tool, what life lessons can you instill in the players you coach?
· Love and Positivity
· Preparation and Planning = Success
· Focus on the detail and the big things will take care of itself
· Harder you work the luckier you get
· Keep it simple – Basketball is a simple game
· Be Professional in your attitude and approach – you may not like or love your team mates but be professional and do your job
· Have a flexible mindset and be ready for anything
· Positivity is one of the key ingredients for success and happiness
· Treat people the way you want to be treated
· There are no short cuts in life. You must do the hard work. Embrace the grind. Love the process. Trust the process. Master the basics.