'I want to make my parents proud' - Harbour basketballers out to take US by storm

With basketball's popularity on the rise in New Zealand, Harbour union are taking the bold step of taking their top talent to the US to try and catch the eye of American colleges, rather than wait to be scouted.

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Ten students will head stateside next week. Source: 1 NEWS

Made up of high school students from the North shore and west Auckland, the team head to Phoenix and Dallas on Monday, taking part in two weeks of tournaments against their American counterparts - expected to play in front of 400 college coaches and scouts.

On the cards? A full scholarship to an American school, the 10 students out to join their 200 other Kiwis already in the system.

"In a 15, 16, 17-year-old's mind, knowing that to play basketball I also have to study, to marry those two things toghether is fantastic," coach Matt Lacey says.

Parents and teachers have funded the trip themselves, costing thousands, the players thankful just for the opportunity.

"I want to make my parents proud and everyone else who's helped me along the way, they've sacrificed a lot for me, i just thank them for that, more than they know," Liston College student Kiani Saxon told 1 NEWS.

Aged 17 and 18, the young men train with school teams, rep teams and the Harbour touring outfit. Add in the Breakers' academy, and national squads for some, not to mention school work.

With that sort of attitude, these young players should be more than attractive to American colleges looking for the next big thing.