It seems Hawke's Bay principals and headmasters were in meetings, in some primary schools even the children were kept in the dark but the word's out that NBA professional Steven Adams will be in the house this month.

Oklahoma City Thunder pivot Steven Adams will be conducting training camps in the province for youngsters and teenagers in Napier on Tuesday, August 20.

The Rotorua-born is a guest of the Paora Winitana & Paul Henare Basketball Academy for the benefit of clinics for 8 to 12-year-olds as well as 13 to 17-year-olds at the Pettigrew-Green Arena, Taradale.

However, budding Bay talents Clifton Bush Jr III and Kobe Kara met Adams for the first time during the Final Fours in Christchurch last month and can't wait to attend the 26-year-old centre's clinic here again.


The Napier Boys' High School first team co-captains are quietly confident they will be on the list of those fortunate enough to be extended invitations to the camps here.

"It's very exciting, " said Bush who had had a one-on-one shooting session with Adams in Christchurch. "I'm stoked about that one."

The 17-year-olds described Adams as "amazing" and "cool".

"He's very humble and like your typical Kiwi," said Bush before he jets off to Tokyo, Japan, on Monday for a week-long NBA camp.

Bush, who can play from point guard to power forward, said Adams had told him to keep his shots up and "to keep on going hard every second".

While a Kobe Bryant fan, the teenager said Adams was the biggest star he had met since meeting Utah Jazz player Joe Johnson four years ago.

Kara, who stands at 1.93m as a small forward, said Adams was "chilled as".

"I definitely look up to him as a player and as a person who is a really chilled and funny guy," said the year 13 student, who wants to come out of the shadows as an age-group basketballer himself.


Kara had gleaned information from him on what to do to secure scholarships to the United States.

"He said just to be yourself," he said of advice on top of court savvy tips.

In a statement, former Tall Black Olympian Winitana thanked Bay sponsors, the Jarrod Cunningham Youth Sport Trust and the Hastings District Council for making it happen after years of discussion.

"He's proved that no matter how hard life gets, you can overcome anything and make it to the very top, so Steven's mana is a true inspiration both in New Zealand and globally."

He had only played against a teenage Wellington Saints player Adams once as a Hawk in the NBL.

"He blocked one of my shots at the hoop. I challenged the refs that it was a goal but they didn't agree with me. I think they were in awe of how high he jumped but Steve knew it and he apologised and it was then that I knew not only was he a gifted athlete, but a talented and also humble young man," Winitana said.