Junior Sportsman of the Year It may be in the genes, but Nic Book owes his success as 2020 Junior Sportsman of the Year to great personal determination, commitment and sheer hard work. As a Year 10 student in Corfe House, Nic managed to achieve very well in the classroom while proving an exemplary performer on the basketball and volleyball courts. The statuesque 15-year- old picked up volleyball at intermediate school, but credits a lifetime of basketball at home to his current accomplishments. In 2020 Nic was on the senior basketball team, the senior A volleyball team, the junior South Island volleyball team, and in the New Zealand U15 basketball squad; and while at the U15 nationals was selected for the tournament team. “Being part of the team winning the Thomson Trophy and the South Island tournament were among my biggest highlights,” he says. “My goal for 2021 is that I want us to win the basketball nationals – they were cancelled last year because of Covid – and I reckon we can compete with the best this time.” Nic’s father is Ed Book, who came to New Zealand from the USA 27 years ago and played for the Tall Blacks and in Nelson and Otago. He has coached Nic and his older siblings since they were tiny and it has been that spirit of competitiveness that has proven a driving force for Nic, particularly since he has been at College. “I like the competition of basketball and volleyball. I always enjoy that, whether I’m playing with a mate or a team, and I like the physicality of the sports. You’re always moving and having to think and do something.”
“My goal for 2021 is that I want us to win the school boys basketball nationals – they were cancelled last year because of Covid – and I reckon we can compete with the best this time.” Nic Book
Nic’s basketball idol is forward Anthony Davis of the LA Lakers, “A player whose game plays are similar to my own,” he says. Not surprisingly, he has his sights set on a basketball scholarship to the US, following in the footsteps of his sister who is studying at California State University at Fullerton near Los Angeles. Before then, however, there is much study to be completed at College, and Nic says he has managed to work out a schedule which allows him a balance of schoolwork, training, social life, sleep and having fun.
“Mostly it works,” he says. He also likes to play a bit of golf and enjoys gaming with his friends. His achievements in 2020 would not have been possible without the incredible support of his parents, Ed and Lisa, he says. “Dad coached my national teams, and Mum is always at the games.”
Christ’s College Canterbury
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