Updated: Mar 6, 2020

University of Portland sophomore Takiula (Taki) Fahrensohn recently took time out from his busy schedule to participate in a Question & Answer session with us.

The former Auckland Grammar School and Waitakere West representative is in the middle of a busy schedule with the Portland Pilots.

They are currently involved in West Coast Conference regular season games which involves playing two games a week.

Taki headed to Portland, Oregon in 2017 but didn’t play (redshirted) the 2017/18 season as he recovered from knee surgery.

In the 2018/19 season, as a freshman, he played 15 games but this season he has been given far more opportunity starting in eight of the 21 games he has played to date. He is fifth on the team’s scoring list averaging 8 points per game and is the team’s best marksman from beyond the arc shooting the three-ball at an impressive 40% (38/94).

We began by asking Taki what is the most enjoyable and rewarding part of being at college?

TF: The friendships I’ve made here are the most rewarding part.

What has been the most challenging/difficult part of being at college?

TF: Being away from family and friends is probably the most difficult part. I’m away from them for all but six weeks a year, and sometimes even less.

What is the longest bus/flight you have had to take to play a game?

TF: From Portland, Oregon we’ve taken a six hour flight to play tournaments in Hawaii. However once you make that trip across the Pacific from New Zealand none of these flights seem too bad.

What is the most enjoyable food you have discovered in America?

TF: I enjoy açaí bowls.

What NZ food or drink do you miss the most? Taki’s response was short and to the point.

TF: Pies!!

In NZ who was the biggest influence on you as a player, and why?

TF: I always looked up to Kobe growing up. His drive was unmatched and I resonated with many of his teachings. On a personal level it would be my dad (Jeff). He’s taught me many skills and tricks that I use every day.

Who has been the biggest influence on you as a person, and why?

T:F My family and friends. I’m a firm believer in the idea that you are the average of who you spend your time with. I try to surround myself with good people who I respect and admire.

What is your favourite memory from high school or rep basketball?

TF: Every year I play I make memories that’ll I’ll cherish for a long time, I couldn’t pick one from the bunch.

Who is the funniest team mate you have ever played with?

TF: I’d say Tom Smith from Waitakere would be the funniest story teller. I’ve been lucky to have some free comedy on all my teams here in the States!

What are you studying?

TF: Marketing.

What are your ambitions once you finish university?

TF: Hopefully earn some money throwing this orange ball around.

Playing college basketball is demanding, as can be seen from the schedule that Taki faces in a typical week when both games are played at home:


7am shooting

9:15-10:10am class

10:45-11:45am weights

12-2:30pm practice

2:40pm-3:35pm class

4-6pm meet with group projects and tutors

Homework or nap

7:10-9:55pm class


7:30am shooting

9:45-11:10am class

11:30-2:20pm practice

2:30-3:30pm weights

Homework or nap

7:10-9:55pm class


7:30am shooting

9:15-10:20 team study hall

11:30-2:30pm practice

2:40pm-3:35pm class

Thursday: Game Day

9:45-11:10am class

1:30-230pm shoot around

3pm pre game meal


5pm shooting

7pm game


11:30-2:30pm film and practice

2:40-3:30pm class

Saturday: Game Day

1:30pm shootaround

3pm pre game meal

5pm shots

7pm tip off




Shots up

Finally, what is the best piece of advice you can give to New Zealand players wishing to gain a basketball scholarship in the States?

TF: Fall in love with the game.

We thank Taki for his time and wish him all the best for the rest of the season!

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