Basketball player working hard to fulfil his dream…and make his mother proud
Devante Hunt-Keil is shooting hoops for a spot at the Samoa 2019 XVI Pacific Games from 7-20 July.
The young basketball player is currently training in Hunan Province, in China, for three months before returning home to trial for the Samoan team.
"For me, the work I put in here could guarantee me a spot on the Samoa National Basketball team to represent my country in my first ever Pacific Games,” he says.
Devante Hunt-Keil is training hard in China for the Pacific Games in July
He is competing in the 5 x 5 Basketball tournament at the Games.
This is from 8-17 July in the first week of competition. The 3 x 3 Basketball tournament is in the second week from 18-20 July. Both will be at Gym 2 in the Faleata Sports Complex.
He is following in family footsteps.
“My mom, Bronwyn Hunt-Keil, represented the Samoa National Basketball team in 1991 and I really want to make her proud.”
He has been involved with basketball for eight years and is passionate about the sport. He returned from studying in Hawaii to attempt to make the Pacific Games squad and achieve his dream.
Being in China has been a great experience and is helping him prepare his skills for the Games.
“Chinese hospitality has been the best ever since we landed here,” he continues. “We've just finished one month of training and it’s been real intense. We’re learning about team chemistry and getting a better overall understanding of our sport.
“We hope to achieve to the very highest of our abilities and make use of the training as we continue to push ourselves until the last day.”
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Hunt-Keil, 21, competed in the Polynesian Cup when Samoa qualified for the Pacific Games. There are only eight places in 5 x 5 with other nations qualifying through the Micronesian and Melanesian sub zone tournaments.
Team Fiji qualified for one of the eight places in the Samoa 2010 Pacific Games 5 x 5 at the Melanesia Cup
He is excited about taking the court with all the different participating countries in July.
“Guam, Fiji and Tahiti are all very good teams who’ve been top 4 many times in past Pacific Games,” he says. “But we won't overlook any team as they’re all training hard for the gold medal.”