Q&A With Fay Fualau

What is your full name and where are you from?

My name is Fay Fualau-Searle, Born in Apia, Samoa, moved to NZ and lived in Christchurch since the age of 4.

I am Samoan.

Why did you choose the game of basketball? 

All my childhood and highschool years I was the child that tried every sport with my twin sister. I was Coached by Rosanna Katene (ex Wildcats captain) in highschool but I did not take basketball seriously nor did I continue playing after highschool. 

I started playing only two and a half years ago when I met my boyfriend because he played and I wanted to try it too. I fell in Love with the game and all its challenges, that I did not shy away from trying.

What schools have you attended? and what are your achievements and highlights? 

Linwood College was my highschool from 2010-2015. 

I then went on to The University of Canterbury from 2016 and graduated in 2018 with a Bachelors of Health Science major in Psychology. A highlight during these years was graduating University at 20 years old and being the first person in my family to graduate from University. 

I then moved to Dunedin to study at the University of Otago and am in my final year of Bachelors of Oral Health🦷. Won the women’s premier club championship in 2019 in my rookie year and also the first full year of playing basketball- for Southpac magic.  

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

There’s more to basketball then the games and trainings, you’ve got to put in what you want to get out of your game. And it’s never too late to try, I mean I only started playing two and a half years ago! 

Be versatile, train everything and don’t shy away from doing things that you may think that your position wouldn’t do. Shoot, handles, finishing, defence etc. 

Be a sponge and soak up things from everyone and anyone! Everyone has something to offer to your game. 

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

Making the Firebrand Goldrush squad for the 18n18 NBL league and have only played for two years. 

#BuildTheCulture 🏀

Who has been your biggest influence in basketball and why?

My boyfriend. I wanted to join a club team in Christchurch because he played in a club, I would not have started playing if it wasn’t for my competitive nature to do what he was haha. He has trained me and I would definitely not be the player that I am without him.

Giannis Antetokoumnpo, he’s my favourite NBA player, mainly because his story and hard work to always be better in inspiring.

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

I hope for the women’s basketball league competition to become stronger and tougher than it is already. 

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

I have always loved how Penina Davidson moved and played.

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

I aim to represent my country Samoa at the highest level of Basketball.

Whats the best pair of basketball shoes you have owned? 

Greek Freak 1s, black colour way.

Who has been the hardest person to guard in your career and why? 

Probably Lisa Wallbutton, I get to train with her in Goldrush and her basketball IQ is amazing. She has the strongest hands that always manage to swipe and grab the ball.

Who is the greatest player of all time and why?

MJ would have to be my 🐐, his competitiveness is something that I love and aspire to drive my own journey

You recently made the Otago Gold Rush squad, how excited are you for the up and coming season?

I am very excited to see what 2021 has to offer especially coming back after the 2020 18n18 nbl season. The 2020 season was an amazing experience to be apart of!

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

Choose and focused on basketball at an earlier age. I’ve come into the game a little later than most of my team mates and this meant the amount of experience I’ve had is less. However, it’s motivated me even more to work with what I have. 

#BuildTheCulture 🏀

Published by Jesse Wallis

Basketball Journalist

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