The rough and tumble style of some aspiring Kiwi basketball players has caught the eye of NBA superstar LeBron James during a recent tournament in Las Vegas, where the New Zealand teams achieved some remarkable results.
The three girls’ teams at Kenny McFadden’s Wellington-based basketball academy were unbeaten in their respective divisions at the tournament where James was courtside watching his son playing.
"During the game, he was getting a bit upset - he was yelling out that ‘this ain't rugby’, because once again we had to play with that aggressive style - and which kind of threw them off."
"One of the best players in the world, and when you just see him there it's just crazy," varsity guard Evyata Tabor said.
The unbeaten girl’s sides also got the opportunity to mingle with some WNBA players.
"To have that opportunity to be up close and personal with the highest-level players - and you're talking about WNBA players - you can't buy that," girls' coach Voldi Simi told 1 NEWS.
"It was a privilege just to go over and play with the best of the best. And to come back with three medals and a trophy is a bonus," varsity girls captain Phoenix Patea told 1 NEWS.