2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games: Mika Vukona

  • 22/03/2018
Mika Vukona
Mika Vukona in action against Australia. Photo credit: Photosport

Age: 35
Height: 1.97m
Weight: 103kg
Event: Basketball
Club: NZ Breakers
Born: May 13, 1982
Coach: Paul Henare

Born in Suva to a Fijian father and Kiwi mother, Vukona moved to New Zealand as a youngster and grew up in Tauranga.

He made his NBL debut with Nelson Giants as a teenager, and quickly developed a reputation as a ferocious defender and rebounder, a trademark that has stuck with him throughout his career.

Vukona is not particularly tall or big for his power forward position, but is a feared and respected opponent, and inspirational teammate at every level.

He made his national team debut with the Tall Blacks in 2005 and is the only survivor from their last Commonwealth Games appearance in Melbourne 2006, where they won a silver medal.

A fixture in the black singlet ever since, he has risen to the captaincy, attending three world championship tournaments over that time.

His professional career has been just as impressive, joining the NZ Breakers as a development player in their inaugural 2003 season. He won an Australian NBL title with the South Dragons in 2009, before returning to the Breakers and helping them to four titles in five years.

Last November, he brought up 400 ANBL games, and has also played in Lebanon and Italy.