Chance meetings can sometimes have a major bearing on someone's life.

Case in point is Breakers and Tall Blacks basketballer Alex Pledger, who visited Raumati Beach School today courtesy of the Kapiti Kids Motivation Trust.

Some years ago now, 7ft 1" Pledger was attending Fraser High School, Hamilton, and had no interest in basketball but that would change when he was aged 16 and in the sixth form.

"I was walking to school in the morning and a guy called Doug Courtney [who coached the Waikato Pistons] stopped his car, got out and started talking to me.


"He told me the school's basketball try-outs were happening that night, which I had zero intention of going to.

"But he convinced me to go along and that's how I started playing."

That year he played for Fraser High School, then Hamilton Boys the next year, and then, amazingly after only playing basketball for two years, but with strong determination, he was selected for the U19 Tall Blacks.

After leaving school he want to the United States on a basketball scholarship and on his return in 2009 he joined the Breakers.

"The first year I was a development player and ever since for the last six years have been a fully contracted player on their 10 man roster.

"It's pretty cool to say your favourite sport is what you do for a living."

And he's been part of a very successful team.

"Over the last six years we've made the NBL grand final five times and won it four times.


"And I've been fortunate enough to be one of three players who have been on all four of those championship teams."

Career highlights were being part of the four Breakers championship winning teams as well as being part of the Tall Blacks who beat Australia during a World Cup qualifying series in 2009.