It's not surprising Kiwi NBA star Steven Adams celebrated his birthday today on a basketball court.

But it wasn't spent playing, instead, Adams was on the bench supporting a special group of aspiring young players.

The Oklahoma Thunder big man has been based in Christchurch this week while running his Steven Adams basketball camps.

Today, while celebrating his 26th birthday, Adams watched the boys and girls Steven Adams Invitational High School All Stars teams play ahead of the New Zealand NBL semifinals.

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Speaking to Sky Sports at the game, Adams described the young players as "pumped" over the experience.

"It's huge for the kids and huge for us [to have the camp programme on television]; it's what we are trying to accomplish," he said.

"I will just go in to chat with them, I won't even say much, I'll just say some rubbish and they go, 'Yeaaah'. I go, 'whatever, cool'."

Adams said his message was focused around "character".

"That's what the whole thing is about. It's got to translate to basketball, but you've just got to be a high character person; that's what we really push."

Steven Adams gets a hug from a member of the Steven Adams High School Invitational team. Photo / Photosport
Steven Adams gets a hug from a member of the Steven Adams High School Invitational team. Photo / Photosport

The youngsters were also lucky enough to hear from Victoria Cross winner Willie Apiata earlier, who Adams called in.

Adams' said the camp has been about building young people and hailed Apiata's contribution.

"He's the man, bro. He just did a phenomenal job. He touched base on the values and the character."

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