I remember the many nights I spent talking to my brother about how I should get into playing basketball. I was eight years old. Little did I realise that my decision to play basketball would change my life; shape both my on-court skills and my work and life habits, forging core values founded on commitment, brotherhood, passion, servanthood, and integrity.
Playing basketball has been hugely influential in my life. It has helped me gain the necessary skills to strive and achieve excellence in the classroom, as well as helping me develop my leadership through the opportunity’s basketball has offered me to serve, coach and referee. I have been able to influence many kids in the local community through coaching within the Gators Club and Waitaha Representatives Academy, helping them develop their game as well as instil the same values I learnt through my basketball journey in them too. I have also been able to impact the lives of the wider community through volunteering at the Christchurch City Mission centre through the Mainland Eagles program. Basketball has shaped the journey of my life, and it has been my dream for over five years to continue to use basketball as a tool for success in the US College environment.
I believe obtaining a college scholarship would be hugely beneficial in setting me up academically for the future, both in exposure to high-level professors but also in challenging and real-life academic experiences and interactions. I think that attending a US college would be a unique opportunity to push myself and continue to develop basketball skills at a high level as well as being a great platform to then pursue a professional career in basketball. I want to use this opportunity to attend a US college to learn as much as possible from the coaching staff and develop my game to then become a valued part of a basketball program. I also aspire to attend a college in the US because it offers opportunities to make valuable connections and friendships with people from all around the world.
I plan to study Business because I want to be able to go into any area of life which I love and help to make it flourish and succeed. I think that by gaining a Business degree, it would provide me with amazing opportunities after college to influence people positively in the areas of life which I am passionate about, through either managing or creating a business.
Being a natural leader while also understanding the importance of playing to my role and having a mindset to learn are characteristics which I believe will help me fit within any team environment. My genuine love for the game and team-oriented mindset are attributes I believe will help add to any team, as would my drive for excellence and hard-working attitude. My collegiate goals are to grow my basketball skills to help create a pathway to a professional basketball career, gain a first-rate Business degree from a quality institution, be part of an alumni network and build valuable friendships.
Zach is a talented, hard working and well rounded student coming from a supportive family. Zach excels both in the the classroom and on the court. He is very focused on doing the best he can in all aspects of his life.
Zach has been the standout point guard for the Middleton Grange School team who are one of the top teams in New Zealand. He has been coached by academy head coach Mark Dickel who played point guard for UNLV from 1996-2000. As well as being a great facilitator Zach is a point guard who you can play through and shoots well from the catch and off the bounce. He is part of the Mainland Eagles Academy which has produced New Zealand players Sam Timmins (University of Washington), Angus McWilliam (UC Riverside), Quinn Clinton (St Mary’s) and Max de Geest (Long Beach).
Mick Downer (Mainland Eagles Academy Head Coach, Former ANBL Coach):
Zach is every coaches and locker room dream. A no non-sense high IQ point guard with a well balanced game. Super fit, has a great motor and plays hard in both directions. Is a great on ball defender and understands scouts and whats needed by the team. Will always make effort plays and be relentless at this end of the floor. Offensively he is a verstaile floor leader who is good in the open court, and great at getting to the rim. Reads the game well and competed against longer or quicker athletesusing a good skill base and reading the game. Will make plays for both himself and others with ability to finish with either hand at the rim. Has a good catch and shoot 3 ball and off the move. His mid range pull up is strong so it puts pressure on pick & roll coverages to make decisions. His greatest assets though are his coachability and work ethic. A fanstatic young man thaty is a skillful player who makes players around him better
Ben Sheat (Former Mainland Eagles Academy Head Coach & NZ U17 Men Asst. Coach):
Point Guard with very promising upside. Makes great reads with ball in his hands and excellent shooter both off the catch & bounce. Attacks the basket aggressively going either direction. Handles it well. Finishes at the hoop but also possesses a good floater. Good range & a quick release on his jumper. Moves with a purpose without the ball. Great motor on the defensive end, very active off the ball & intense on it. Should be one that develops very nicely with size and skillset with time to keep getting stronger and more confident.
Zach is a very bright and capable student. His current GPA is 4.0 which reflects his academic diligence and effort in the classroom.
Zach is wanting to study business, and therefore is looking for a college with a strong business degree. Basketball wise, Zach wants to be a part of a well established basketball programme with a healthy, strong and positive basketball culture.
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