Trent Smith ex Hoop Club Kapiti Player who has just left for the USA to take up Scholarship at Blackburn College Illinois came to Hoop Club to say a personal goodbye to Coach Angelo Robinson and to talk to the young players at Hoop Club about “how your dreams can come true”.
From Trent Smith – Student Athlete
"If you were to tell my 12 year old self that I would one day be just days away from traveling halfway around the world to study and play the sport I loved, I would’ve thought you were crazy! My basketball journey began when I was 12 years old in my hometown of Levin. I had my very first taste when I began playing Miniball at middle school. I learned early on that being just under 6ft tall at 12 years old was a massive advantage and helped me enjoy the sport which would later become a major part of my life.
At 13 years old I started to take the sport more seriously. I was informed of Coach Angelo Robinson at Hoop Club Kapiti, an incredible Coach who’s passion was to teach the youth the game of basketball and what the sport can do to change your life. So with the amazing support of my mother, Margaret, we made the trip down one Sunday and I had the time of my life! I walked in the gym and the first thing I saw was Coach Robinson’s big smile. By the end of the day I had my very own nickname and from that day on, I would become known as “T-Dawg”. Over the next few weeks I would develop immensely as a basketball player with the help of Coach Robinson and team at Hoop Club Kapiti. Making the trip down multiple times each week was tough but well worth the development I received. Soon after I would be encouraged by Coach Robinson and his team to attend the New Zealand Basketball Academy where I furthermore developed as a player and learnt the importance of not only my performance on the court but in the classroom as well.
After playing a great season of representative basketball my mother and I decided to make the hard decision to move to Palmerston North for schooling. Throughout the following years I would go on to play for many different teams, win a national representative championship, travel to both Australia and the USA to play in tournaments and end up where I am now, off to the USA to study and play collegiate basketball.
Throughout my journey I have had many different Coaches and mentors, all of which contributed to molding me into the person I have become today. Without the mentorship of Coach Robinson and the team at Hoop Club Kapiti I wouldn’t be where I am today. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Coach Robinson for the time and effort he has put in to Coaching and mentoring me throughout my journey. He was one of the first Coaches to ever believe in me and give me the opportunity to shine and for that, I am truly grateful."
Kapiti Hoop Club.