IAS profile: Anakin Hughes, basketball

Anakin Hughes

I was very fortunate that the coach took a chance on me

Basketball

Focused: Illawarra Academy of Sport scholarship holder Anakin Hughes is motivated by the achievements of basketball star Magic Johnson. Photo: Adam McLean

Focused: Illawarra Academy of Sport scholarship holder Anakin Hughes is motivated by the achievements of basketball star Magic Johnson. Photo: Adam McLean

Why did you apply for an IAS scholarship? 

I want to improve my skills and basketball IQ. I have very high goals and this is an opportunity to be trained by highly qualified coaches not just in basketball but also in other aspects of professional sports.

Who’s your favourite professional athlete? 

It would have to be Magic Johnson. He was a versatile player who could play any position. His ability to see the court and get the ball to his team mates was truly awesome. You don't get a nickname like "Magic" for no reason! After his playing career he moved into business and became very successful there as well.

If you weren’t playing basketball what would you be doing and why? 

If I wasn't playing basketball I would probably be wasting my time wandering shopping malls or hanging out at the beach all day.

How would you describe yourself in one sentence?

Someone with very high goals who is focused on achieving them and who thrives on working hard along the way. My dad says I like training more than playing sometimes.

What are your plans beyond school?    

When I finish school I want to play basketball at a Division 1 College in the US and then play in the NBA.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?      

If I could live anywhere in the world it would be the USA so I could go and watch NBA games live all the time.

What do you do in your free time?        

When I'm not training or playing, I play XBox and hang out with my mates. Sometimes I go watch my old soccer team play.

What is your favourite subject at school?

My favourite subject at school is Maths. I just find it fun.

What is your greatest achievement in your sport so far?             

My greatest achievement in basketball so far is representing Illawarra in the Country Premier League Under 14's in only my second year. I was very fortunate that the coach took a chance on me and it opened my eyes to how to train and what it would take to get better.

When did you start playing basketball and how did you get started? 

I started playing basketball three years ago when I started high school. I'd always wanted to play but no-one at my primary school played. Once I started high school I found a group of boys who played. I was the worst kid in the stadium on my first night, but I kept turning up and getting better and better. I loved the feeling when practice improved my game and so I just practised more and improved more. I haven't stopped since.