Congratulations to Laken Wairau, who has been offered a full basketball scholarship to Indiana University, Bloomington in the United States.

Laken is the daughter of Mason and Tracey Wairau, the mokopuna of Peter (Peg) and Joy Wairau (née Karaitiana), the great mokopuna of Wiremu Kingi and Selina Karaitiana.

Ko Ngāi Tahu rātou ko Rongomaiwahine, ko Tapuika, ko Waitaha ōna iwi. Ko Takitimu, ko Kurahaupō, ko Te Arawa ōna waka.

Laken departed Christchurch for Indiana University on Boxing Day. Her first opportunity to get on the court was just two days after she arrived, and it was a game against Yale University.

Laken finished her year 13 studies at Christchurch Girls’ High School last year and has achieved virtually all accolades that a NZ Junior basketball representative could. She has won a national secondary schools title, played and toured China in 2014 with the NZ Junior Tall Ferns, played three years with the Canterbury Wildcats WBC team, played all levels of Canterbury Junior representative teams winning U19 and U13 national titles, runners up to a U15 national title and played four seasons for the University of Canterbury Women’s Premier team. She also won the UC Women’s Best Defensive Award this season and helped the side to their eighth title in 10 seasons.

Laken worked hard preparing for her US college opportunities training with the Mainland Eagles and Canterbury Wildcats Academy.

She is a high achiever academically and has completed three years of study in te reo Māori with the University of Canterbury Star programme. She graduated with a diploma in languages (te reo Māori) in December 2015.

Laken will study towards a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology (BSK), Exercise Science Major at Indiana University. Her career interests are in sports medicine and sports psychology.

Laken hopes to make her whānau proud while she is in America.

Laken hopes to make her whānau proud while she is in America.