14 January 2023

US academy shows interest in young Wagga basketballer

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Wani Gwada

Nineteen-year-old Wani Gwada received a partial scholarship from the Florida Sports Academy to play in the Post High School Basketball Association. Photo: Supplied.

Many years of hard work has paid off for Wagga’s Wani Gwada as he has landed a partial scholarship to play basketball in America.

The 19-year-old will attend Florida Sports Academy, where he will play in the Post High School Basketball Association for the academy.

He will play against other prep schools, post-grads, and even colleges, and be hoping to receive a scholarship to attend college for free.

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Wani said he felt “extremely excited” to receive the scholarship but also “mostly relieved”.

“Because I had worked so hard for so many years,” Wani said.

The youngest of four’s interest in playing basketball came in the form of a video game.

“My sister used to play, and seeing her play I wanted to get involved,” he said.

Wani Gwada.

Wani Gwada was just 11 years old when he started playing competitive basketball. Photo: Supplied.

As a young boy, he was addicted to playing PlayStation, and his favourite game was the basketball video game NBA 2K13.

“Essentially, that’s what got me interested in playing basketball,” Wani said.

Wani’s goal is to receive a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 full-ride basketball scholarship for four years.

If he doesn’t, he hopes to join the National Junior College Athletic Association Division 1 for two years, then the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 for two years.

Wani Gwada

Wani Gwada’s interest in basketball came from playing PlayStation. Photo: Supplied.

“I want to graduate with a degree in sociology and then go pro and play professional basketball in the NBA or NBL, if not anywhere else in the world.”

At just 11 years old, Wani started playing competitive basketball and at 12, he won silver at the Pacific School Games in Adelaide.

At 16 he received a bursary to attend Newington College, a prestigious private school in Sydney.

He was identified by the Southern Sports Academy and by the academy’s head coach Matt Bishop. Wani was a standout performer for the Rules Club Basketball program for three years and represented NSW Country and NSW in the 2018/2019 State Performance Program.

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He graduated from Newington College in 2021 and in September of the same year, he received an opportunity to play post-grad basketball in the Post High School Basketball Association with Florida Sports Academy.

He currently has interest from Western Oklahoma State College Athletics and the National Junior College Athletic Association Division 1 School.

Wani also has a GoFundMe page to support him to cover the cost of flights, food and more.

To support Wani in achieving his basketball goals and dreams, click here.

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