HE'S GOT the moves on the basketball court and it's now a given Clifton Bush III is no pushover in the netball arena.
It's just a pity the 13-year-old from Tamatea Intermediate won't be able to nurture his skills in the predominantly female code after his school's netball team finished 28th yesterday during the annual NZCT Aims Games campaign in Tauranga.
"I'll definitely have some fond memories of netball," said a perky Bush who is the son of former Hawks basketballer Clifton Bush II and Christina, of Napier.
Bush III, who is a versatile guard in the Bay U15 rep team his father and Jordan Pomana coach, got into the Aims netball team when the school pulled the plug on taking a basketball team about two months before the tourney.
"[Teachers] Mr Dean Quate and and Miss Scott said we couldn't afford to take another team and [also] there was no one to coach us," said Bush, whose father only last week quit as Basketball HB development officer to return to the Inland Revenue Department where he was part of a mass redundancy on this day in 2012.
The youngster, who is a hit with the fairer sex with his slick dance moves as a towel boy during music breaks of the Hawks' NBL games at the Pettigrew-Green Arena in winter, gave netball a shot when fellow basketballer and "bestie" Adam Winnie asked him to attend a training session at school without any commitment last year to make the Aims netball team.
Aims Games rules allows each netball team to have a maximum of three boys in their team. Only two boys are allowed on the court at a time, but they cannot play in the same area.
His shooting prowess caught the eye of coach Sarah McPhee and the girls and the rest was history for the year 8 pupil who slipped on the GS/GA bib to nail more than 70 goals at this week's games.
"I was pretty good," said the witty teenager who is partial to the GS position where "you run around less".
Winnie is a GD who also slips on the GA bib.
Bush said he had inherited his playing moves from his Pine Bluff, Arkansas-born father but his dance ones hailed from his Kiwi mother.
The youngster who hopes to attend either Napier Boys' High School or Hastings Boys' High to keep honing his basketball skills, wasn't always able to work his charm on the plethora of pedigree goal keep/defence at the tourney in the past two years.
"It's a bit annoying, actually. They're always trying to put me off by rubbing against my shoulder," he said of the "non-contact" code.
"I try to to spin or try stepping them out."
A jovial Bush said he and Winnie staved off illness and injuries.
Although there was "a lot of drama with the girls".
"You know, there's girls talking about boys and all that sort of stuff they like to do," he said with a grin.
For the record, Bush doesn't have any girlfriends in the netball circuit or any other code and isn't in a rush to find one right now because he feels he has all the time to do that later in his life.