Josh Aitcheson is a talented young basketballer who will bring up a significant milestone at this weeks SAS Secondary Schools National Basketball Championships in Palmerston North.
The Kings High School Basketball Captain will play his 100th game tomorrow afternoon, but in typical Kiwi fashion hes very matter of fact about the approaching ton. "Yep, 98 games and two more to go."
Yet the significant achievement is a lot more impressive than he makes out - Aitcheson made the Dunedin schools Senior-A team in his first year of college and became a veteran by his second.
"I played a couple of games for the top side in Year 9, before getting in the team in Year 10. Making Nationals is always the goal, its great seeing so many people here and so many people you know."
A squad member of the Junior Tall Blacks, he says his time with the national outfit has helped his game.
"Playing amongst harder opponents all the time pushes you and gets you ready for tournaments like this, so youre not surprised when you come up against tough opposition."
On the tournaments opening day, Aitchesons Kings side went down to a well-drilled Christchurch Boys High 96-61, with Aitcheson putting up 42 points in a losing effort.
Despite the loss, hes optimistic about the chances of his side.
"If we hit some more shots, then I think we could get top eight, middle eight, but its going to be tough."
Aitchesons hoping basketball can take him to higher places, having already received some potential offers from colleges in the United States, but hes keeping quiet about that for now, preferring instead to focus on his love of the game.
"I just love the team part of it, no one can really hide, theres only five people on the court so everyone has to be involved."
Yet its not all basketball for Aitcheson whos an all-round student, which is perhaps another reason he has caught the eye of at least two U.S. Colleges. At the schools annual prize giving last year, he received Excellence awards for English, History and Maths, in addition to a number of sport awards for basketball and volleyball.
Aitcheson is set to play his 100th game for Kings High School against Fraser High School on Court 6 at 4pm, Tuesday 27 September.
- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Basketball New Zealand