What is your full name and where are you from?
My full name is Isaac Mana Mei Langi Finau Fotu and I was born in the United Kingdom but moved to New Zealand as a kid and I’m a proud kiwi
Why did you choose the game of basketball?
I have always enjoyed playing sports, starting with soccer and rugby as a kid then moving to basketball and volleyball in high school. I chose basketball because I enjoyed playing and also got quite good which gave me plenty opportunities such as going to college in the states
What schools did you attend and what were your achievements and highlights?
I attended long bay college for year 9 and 10 and then attended Rangitoto college for the rest of my high school. One of my bigges achievements was making the tall blacks team as a 17 year old still in high school.
You are a role model for young men, what advice do you have for them getting into basketball?
My advice to young up and coming basketballers would be to have confidence and believe in yourself and also have fun every time you play the game, because that’s why we get into basketball in the first place, to have fun.
What has been the ultimate highlight so far in your career?
The ultimate highlight of my career so far is probably winning the 3on3 World Cup in Italy in 2011. It’s my ultimate highlight because it was a world championship which is pretty cool and not many people have the opportunity to win one in any field of sport.
Who has been your biggest influence in basketball and why?
My biggest influence in basketball is probably my high school coach Lawrence Lianda. He is who I worked individually with while I was in high school and was really the first person to believe in me.
Who is the ultimate women’s basketball player in New Zealand?
There are two ultimate women’s basketball players in my eyes, the first being my sister of course ;), because I’ve seen first hand how hard she works to achieve her goals. The second is Charlisse because of how head and shoulders above the competition she is. Her career has only just begun but she has already achieved so much and is killing it in college already.
Who is the ultimate mens basketball player in New Zealand?
It’s hard to pick only one ultimate men’s basketball players in New Zealand because there’s been some great players come out of New Zealand so I will mention a two. Obviously Steven Adams has to be on there with how well he’s done in the NBA and the influence on basketball in New Zealand he’s had. Another is Pero Cameron because of what he achieved as a player (4th at the world championship in 2002 and also all tournament 5 at that competition) and also what he continues to do with coaching.
In terms of your playing career, what would be the pinnacle for you?
The pinnacle for me would be to compete in the Olympics with the Tall Blacks.
Whats the best pair of basketball shoes you have owned?
The best pair for me would probably be the Kobe 5 or 6. We got them for breakers academy when I was a development player and I loved them.
You are curently playing in Italy. What are the highlights for you?
Playing in Italy has been fun for me. The highlight for me is playing in front of these passionate Italian fans and getting a big win against a good team in front of them is great.
Who is the toughest player that you have had to guard?
There has been a lot of tough players I have played against but probably any player on the team USA team we played at the World Cup in 2014. Those guys are just on another level and it was cool to go up against them.