To play in an international stadium, four local basketball players had to clean one first.

Lydia Barber (16), Arabella Barber (14) Paige Taylor (13) and Opal Hardy (15) cleaned the 34,500 seat Westpac stadium in Wellington as part of their fundraising to get to Las Vegas.

The four girls represented New Zealand in a basketball tournament series in Vegas last month.

They were selected for to play for the New Zealand Basketball Academy in the tournament after participating in a series of trials.


"The New Zealand Basketball Academy is based in Wellington. They asked all the teams if they wanted to clean after a training session. We had to pack away chairs and pick up rubbish. It was three to four hours work," Arabella says.

The girls also individually fundraised and received a grant from the TET Trust.

The girls played in Las Vegas in three tournaments over 17 days.

"I enjoyed playing basketball over there. It was a more physical and different type of basketball," Lydia says.

Lydia and Opal played in the under 16 team for the New Zealand Basketball Academy. Their team placed first in all three tournaments. The under 16 team received the best results in the history of the New Zealand Basketball Association at the tournament.

"I really enjoyed winning the games and getting to walk around like a champion," Opal says.

Paige and Arabella played in the girls under 13 team for the New Zealand Basketball Academy and placed first in the Grand Finale tournament.

"My highlight of the trip was members from another team asking for a photo with us and saying that us New Zealand girls have the best sportsmanship," Paige says.


The girls say the highlight of the trip was going to a WBA All Stars basketball game. They went on court in front of everyone and switched signed balls with the team.

While overseas, the girls stayed at University of Nevada, and lived on campus.

"Staying on the campus was really cool. It was two people a room, with a bathroom in between rooms. In the area we were staying there were five basketball courts," says Arabella.

The girls have been playing basketball for four to five years. Lydia and Opal have both previously played for the Taranaki Basketball teams. Lydia's sister, Arabella, says she followed in Lydia's footsteps.

"I thought it was fun so I kept playing."

Opal says she started playing basketball because she enjoys the game.

"I love playing basketball. The game is different every time I play."

The girls say they are really thankful for family members, coaches, managers the New Zealand Basketball Association and all those who helped with their fundraising.