Samoa's Su'a excited to make memories that will be cherished forever
MANGILAO (Guam) - Samoa had an exciting run at the FIBA U15 Oceania Championship 2018 where they ended up on the podium with a bronze medal.
They had beaten Guam twice in that run, including in the Third-Place game. If they want to replicate that 2018 campaign, Samoa will have to that in Guam where the 2022 edition of the competition will be held at from November 21-26.
For Samoa players like Nehemiah Su’a, it will be his first time representing the nation. As expected, there is a lot of pride that comes with that honor.
"It’s a very surreal feeling getting to represent Samoa at such a young age," said Su’a "I’m excited to play with the boys and make memories that I will cherish forever."
"Having the opportunity to play on the stage for Samoa means so much to me. The trainings and preparation for the Oceania Championships have been a meaningful journey so to play in the tournament will be amazing."
Su’a and Samoa will go facing Australia, New Zealand, Guam, Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, and Northern Mariana Islands in these upcoming days. It’s another level of competition that Su’a is not yet accustomed too, but that’s what he hopes to get from playing here.
"I expect this tournament to be a huge step up from the level of basketball I’ve played before as it’s nation vs nation."
"Something additional I expect to learn about is how international basketball works."
All of this is a huge step forward for Su’a who had first started playing street ball at the age of 10. His immediate love for the game pushed him join the school’s team in the following team. From there, he’s just become addicted to learning more and more about the game, while also getting better and better.
The turning point for Su’a was learning the details of the sport, igniting a passion to become a better player day after day.
"In my first year of high school, my coach had lots of experience in coaching professional teams. He really understood what skill sets I needed as a player to get to a higher level of basketball, so with the help of him I started to take my basketball to higher levels."
And here he is, representing the proud nation of Samoa in an international competition. Su’a might still be a bit far away from playing at the level of Ja Morant, a player he looks up to ("because of his athletic abilities and how he is able to dunk over centers"), but progressing at this rate and being the play on the stage at such a young age is always a good start.
The FIBA U15 Oceanian Championships serve as qualifiers for the FIBA U16 Asian Championships 2023 with the top two teams going through.
The FIBA U15 Oceania Championships will be hosted in Guam from November 21 to November 26. Follow the event here!