Rare Honour for Kiwi 'T
Talented Waitara basketballer Terai Sadler has earned an accomplishment that very few can lay claim to.
Now based in the US where she is in her second year of a sporting scholarship with Crowder College, Sadler recently became one of only 10 players nationally to receive junior college division one First Team All-American honours for the 2013 season.
In rare company, the 1.7m forward is only the second Lady ‘Riders basketball player in history to receive the award and the first since Whitney Beckett achieved the same status in 1986.
Still, Sadler can claim something no other Lady ‘Rider has - and perhaps very few around the nation - she's the school's first All-American New Zealander.
Even she found that point amusing, admitting she had no idea what being an "All-American" meant until recently.
"(Coach Tina Robbins) called me and told me about it and like, at first I didn't really know what it meant," Sadler said. "I didn't really know how many people were on the team and all of that but when I found out - it's really cool. It's an honour."
After some more research, Sadler, referred to by her friends and team-mates simply as ‘T', was all smiles after learning the magnitude of her achievement.
An All-American team is a composition team of the best players in their sports' division, but they seldom play any opponents.
"We don't have anything like that in New Zealand, so to get this is pretty awesome," she added. "I couldn't have done it without my coaches or my team-mates. I think they helped me a lot."
Sadler earned her selection after an outstanding season helping guide the Lady ‘Riders to their first trip to the National Championship tournament under Robbins. In 33 games, Sadler averaged 35.8 minutes, shot 57.2 per cent from the field, 85.4 per cent from the free throw line and 18.6 points per game.
She also averaged nine rebounds per game, 2.4 assists and two steals.
Her stats stand out even more considering the role she played. Despite being a touch under 6 foot, Sadler spent most of the year posting up against larger players. That had little effect on her success, however.
"We're all very excited for T," Robbins said. "She's definitely very deserving of it. She had a fantastic year. She was a huge part of our success.
Sadler is expected back in Taranaki over the college summer holidays late next month.