All Stars Maraia grateful
All Stars Maraia grateful
She loves playing basketball and it was the dream of Maraia Naivaluvou to play for Fiji.
She is one of the three Fiji women basketballers named after the Pacific Youth Championships to be part of the Oceania All Stars team. The team is made up of players from Papua New Guinea, Tahiti and New Caledonia. The three Fijians are Naivaluvou, Kelera Koyamainaivure and Tiyana Kainamoli.
The Nabudrau, Rewa lass acknowledges her mother, the late Eta Nasau who died in 2011, for introducing her to the sport and helping her to achieve her aims. “I want to thank my mother for everything,”Naivaluvou said.“She is one who always supports my decision and who always sees that I achieve my aim,”Naivaluvou said.
“She was also the one who took me from one place to another so that I can play the sport I love.”
She attended Lomaivuna Primary School, Suva Muslim College and since she loves to play basketball, her mother took her to Yat Sen Secondary School to complete her secondary school education before she joined the University of the South Pacific (USP) this year. “I play netball in primary school but I spent most of my free time playing basketball at home. But when I joined Yat Sen Secondary I learned more.”
She is the eldest of four siblings and while she is on her break from studies, she works on part- time basis with Kingdom Closet clothing shop in Suva. “My little siblings look up on me so I work on part-time basis at Kingdom Closet so that I can make my little brothers and sisters happy. Losing mum is a challenge to each and every one of us and it also helps us to work hard and do our best.”
She participated in all Fiji secondary schools competition and made her international debut in 2010 in the Oceania Youth tournament and her second one was the Oceania Youth Championships at held at Churchill Centre in Melbourne last month.
She was the top scorer for Fiji in their game against New Caledonia (14) and against Guam (11) and in the bronze medal playoff against Guam (15). “Hard work, dedication is the key, I always make sure that I play to the best of my ability,”Naivaluvou said. “I love playing basketball and I make sure that I play well so that I can accomplish all my goals. “Now making it in the All Stars team is what I have been dreaming off since 2010 and now my aim is to try and make it in the first line up. I have to take care of myself, watch my diet and try to maintain my fitness.” The All Stars team will assemble in Canberra on Sunday to undertake a five days training camp at the Australian Institute of Sports (AIS) before heading up to Aubury in Australia where the team will compete in the Australian Country Basketball Cup. Securing overseas contracts and studies is always on her list. “I’m just waiting for chances, if I get an opportunity to go overseas to play and study I will definitely take it.”
Source: The Fiji Sun Newspaper