Basketballer Sophie Adams has the world at her feet, but first she wants to finish Year 13.
The Ashburton College student, named in the reserves of the Under 19 Junior Tall Ferns basketball team, is weighing up a nursing or police career.
However she could, depending on opportunities, further her studies overseas and play college basketball in countries like Mexico, Canada or the United States.
It’s not something she has to decide just yet.
Sophie, who stands 1.82m tall, plays basketball for Under 19 Waitaha (a combined Canterbury/North Canterbury representative team), the Under 19 Junior Tall Ferns and is part of the Mainland Eagles Basketball Academy, a high performance programme.
Junior Tall Ferns head coach Hernando Planells describes her as an assertive forward who loves to operate from the top of the key and can attack the basket and rebound.
She was also in the 2020 Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats training squad, since cancelled by Covid-19, and of course, plays for the Ashburton College senior girls’ team.
A typical week includes school studies, at least two hours of basketball training a day and fitness, not to mention travel to Christchurch for three different teams and work commitments at Lushingtons Cafe.
Her training, fitness and wellness is tracked by Basketball New Zealand with Zoom calls, Facebook video posts and apps.
Sophie answers a range of questions on her training activities as well as wellness attributes like sleep patterns, motivation levels and illness or injury.
There is a support team inspecting the data and making sure compliance is kept above 90 per cent, otherwise there can be team penalties such as extra training tasks.
Sophie spent lockdown with her family; parents Michelle and Lewis and siblings Hayden, 21, and Grace, 18, and has now returned to work and school.
But lockdown at home surprisingly meant no basketball hoop, instead it was time focusing on ball handling skills, strength and conditioning and fitness, with 5km runs and 30km bike rides.
She also has a lot of study to prepare for end-of-year exams in English, chemistry, biology and mathematics.
While Covid-19 has stopped most basketball including the Junior Ferns Four Nations Tour to China in June, Sophie says secondary school basketball had not yet been cancelled and could still go ahead.
By Toni Williams