Isaac Letoa from Kāpiti has gained an Academic scholarship to Dartmouth University USA where is expected to join the college’s NCAA Division 1 basketball programme.
Isaac’s family lived in Kāpiti while he and brother Jordan were at Raumati Beach School, before they moved into Wellington just before older brother Jordan started College.
Both Boys were exceptional basketball players with Isaac’s older brother forging the way. Both boys went through Hoop Club Kāpiti before moving into Wellington.
Their father Fata Letoa was also a coach at Hoop Club Kāpiti.
“I certainly identified early on that Isaac had a certain X factor about him and kept telling his father, Jordan is a really good player, but I am telling you watch out for that little Isaac he is a silent assassin,” says Coach Angelo Robinson.
Both boys have gone on to do really well but Isaac has fulfilled his dream of getting a scholarship to the USA and playing basketball.
Issac pays tribute to his family for their efforts in helping reach his goals.
“My father has been closely involved having been a coach and a mentor throughout the majority of my life. Jordan, my older brother, has had a similar role in my life. But uniquely he helped to install a competitive spirit in me. Getting beaten in nearly everything we competed in, you learn to hate losing. My Mother has very much had a behind the scenes impact that she doesn’t really get credit for; she has worked extremely hard to support my goals whether they’re basketball-related or not.”
Issac says his extended family and many friends who have contributed so much to fundraisers and in many other ways over the years. “I wouldn’t have got this far if it weren’t for them helping me get overseas to be seen.”
Issac, who will be studying for an Engineering degree at the Ivy League university says he wants make the most of this fantastic opportunity by gaining an Ivy League degree, contacts for life and of course, some competitive basketball.
“I’ve always aspired to play the sport professionally – wherever my talents and ability take me.”
He says his best basketball memory so far was beating Australia last year in the FIBA World Champs Qualifying tournament.
The future sure looks bright for young Issac Letoa.