Updated: Jun 10
Samuel Aruwa is one of New Zealand's premiere basketball talents. Even at a young age, he has amassed an impressive cabinet of accolades, including NBL experience and international honours, most notably when representing New Zealand at the FIBA 3×3 Under 23 World Cup in China.
Coming in at 6’4” he brings size and length to the table, as well as X-Factor and experience in the format.
Selected for the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualification Tournament, which was scheduled to be held in Bengaluru, India, from March 18 to 22, 2020. This tournament, along with the U16 Asia Championships and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) have been postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
We asked Sam a few questions to find out a bit about him, his future and how he is handling the lockdown:
What is it you like most about 3x3?
SA: The thing I like most about 3x3 is the fast pace of the game, and that there is more space on the court to drive or go to work on a defender.
You’ve become a bit of a 3x3 specialist, what is it that suits you best to 3x3?
SA: I think the fact that I can do a job defending both big men and guards is what suits me best to 3x3.
What are you doing to remain in shape during the lockdown?
SA: Fitness wise Mt Eden is really close to where I live so running up and around it has been my main way of keeping fit, as well as home cardio workouts. Miss the court though!
Do you find it difficult to manage Uni and basketball?
SA: The Uni has been really accommodating with my basketball and I've generally had not too much trouble balancing them, just always end up with a lot of catch up to do haha
If you weren’t playing basketball, what do you think you’d end up doing?
SA: If I wasn't playing basketball I would probably be playing another sport, I couldn't imagine life without playing a sport!
What is your favourite moment in your basketball career so far?
SA: My favourite moment in my basketball career is definitely a tie between the U23 3x3 World Cup last year or coming 4th with UoA at the FISU World Champs.
What advice do you have for young aspiring hoopers?
SA: Start working on your game as often as you can as early as possible. There are so many opportunities for ballers in NZ now, take advantage of them!
What are your goals for the rest of 2020 and beyond?
SA: My goals for 2020 and beyond are to finish my degree, prepare for the OQT next year (hopefully), and start playing properly in the NBL.
We thank Sam for his time and wish him all the best for the rest of the year!
Check out Sam in action below: