The Age recently caught up with three talented, young athletes who really are going places.

The oldest - well, she's all of 21 - is Adoniah Lewis (Te Rarawa iwi) has been attending the University of Florida on a basketball scholarship for the past three years and is now midway through a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Economics degree.

Having been awarded the school's Academic Athlete of the Year in 2012, Adoniah has decided to transfer to the University of Georgia as it offered a "better academic programme"but will also continue to play university basketball in her new state.

She and younger sister Keziah, 17, grew up honing their skills in Kaitaia miniball and as their potential became evident, the family moved to Auckland in order to allow the two sisters to continue their development at Mt Albert Grammar.


Adoniah has since gone on to represent New Zealand at under 20 level and now has her sights set on making the national women's team in order to play for New Zealand at the Rio Olympics in 2016. "I've got four years to keep developing myself as a player," she said.

Currently in the Far North for a break, and recovering from an injury niggle (which has prevented her from playing for the Muriwhenua women's team in the provincial series currently going on), Adoniah was preparing to return to America in August to resume her studies and complete her degree which she expects will take a further two years.

And she's being joined there by Keziah and a Whangarei player Jaycin Tini, also 17, who have also both gained basketball scholarships to the University of Georgia. First however, the two younger girls are preparing to travel to Tasmania with the New Zealand under 20 women's team later this month to contest the Australian State Championships.

Meanwhile, happy to be back home for an extended summer 'break', Adoniah particularly wanted to thank those who provided her and her sister with a pathway through the formative years: "They [Kaitaia miniball] really encouraged me."

As for the upcoming move to Georgia, she admitted this had been a "really tough"decision to make but noted there were no hard feelings from either former classmates or lecturers at Florida who told the high-flying Kiwi she will be sorely missed.

"Where I was, it was quite culture driven, lots of different cultures, and they really liked the New Zealand Maori culture."

With her bright smile and easygoing personality, Adoniah shouldn't experience any problem fitting in at her new school.