After a standout tournament at the recent under-15 nationals, North Otago basketballer Max de Geest looks set for a promising future in the sport.
De Geest was outstanding at the tournament, averaging 38 points a game, which is rare for a 14-year-old.
The North Otago side played seven games at the competition and de Geest scored 271 points overall, including an impressive 130 points in the team’s final two games.
His standout performances led to him being included in the tournament team that mainly featured players from sides who made the top six.
Waitaki Basketball Academy coach Ian Cathcart said de Geest was a special talent.
“His success stems from the amount of work he puts in,” he said.
“He puts in hours and hours of work in during his spare time, so he deserves the success – it’s no fluke he scores over 60 points in one game. It just shows how a small-town boy can achieve by putting in the hard work.”
The Waitaki Boys’ High School student said his love of basketball started at a young age.
“I used to watch Dad play for the Penguins and Auckland when I was young,” de Geest said.
His major focus is to improve and help the junior side win as many games as possible.
“I love playing with these guys and want us to do well.”
The Boston Celtics are the Waitaki Boys’ students’ favourite team in the NBA and there are two players from the competition he loves to follow.
“I love the way Kawhi Leonard plays and Rajon Rondo from the Celtics, but Mark Dickel from the Otago Nuggets is also a great player.”
The youngster hopes to play college basketball in America in the future.
PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY
TALENTED: Waitaki Boys’ High School’s Max de Geest had a standout tournament at the National Under-15 tournament and was selected to the tournament team.