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15 Apia Muri (PNG)
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Muri on inspiring the next generation

PORT MORESBY (Papua New Guinea) - In 2015 Apia Muri captured the attention of his countrymen when Papua New Guinea hosted the Pacific Games in Port Moresby.

The 31-year old Muri led his team in minutes, points, rebounds and blocks in Papua New Guinea's fourth-place finish in the quadrennial event.

"The highest honor in playing basketball is representing your country in the international stage and playing for PNG is the best feeling in the world," shared Muri, who is from a distinguished basketball family in PNG.

Aside from his duties as a national team representative and playing for Moni Plus in the Port Moresby Basketball League - Muri actively volunteers for Basketball Federation Papua New Guinea's (BFPNG) Basketball For Good programs.

BFPNG's development programs include the Hoops For Health, Pikinini Hoops, Mum's A Hero and Twilight Basketball program is supported by the Australian Aid and FIBA.

"After the 2015 Pacific Games, a lot of kids and teenagers looked up to me and wanted me to teach them basketball. I love the game, so when the opportunity to give back was offered,  I grabbed it and never looked back," said Muri.

The 6'6 forward who also played for PNG in the 2017 FIBA Melanesia Cup and 2019 Pacific Games started volunteering in 2017.

"I started out with the Hoops For Health program and have volunteered for everything from then on. It has changed my life and made me a better person and I would not trade it for anything," shared Muri.

"I only get a little bit of kina usually for lunch but I love how it affects my community in positive ways," he added.

Muri's commitment to basketball in PNG transcends his own individual career and he envisions the continuous growth of PNG basketball.

"Playing for the national team gave me the platform to introduce myself. I want to find and more talented PNG kids and develop them for the future of our national and youth teams. I want to help take PNG basketball to the next level," Muri said.

"This is only the start for us, and I know that we have the talent to one day compete at a higher level," he added.

PNG basketball's future is looking bright with the committed and determined Muri leading the charge in the national team and grassroots level.