Mika Vukona

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Mika Vukona
No. 14 – Nelson Giants
Position Power forward
League NBL
Personal information
Born (1982-05-13) 13 May 1982 (age 32)
Suva, Fiji
Nationality New Zealand
Listed height 198 cm (6 ft 6 in)
Listed weight 226 lb (103 kg)
Career information
High school Bethlehem College
(Tauranga, New Zealand)
Nelson College
(Nelson, New Zealand)
Pro playing career 2000–present
Career history
2000–2002 Nelson Giants
2003 Manawatu Jets
2003–2008 New Zealand Breakers
2004–2007 Nelson Giants
2008 Harbour Heat
2008–2009 South Dragons
2009–2010 Gold Coast Blaze
2010–present Nelson Giants
2010–present New Zealand Breakers
2014 Byblos
Career highlights and awards
  • 4x ANBL champion (2009, 20112013)
  • NZNBL champion (2007)
  • 2x All-NBL Second Team (2013–2014)

Mika John Vukona (born 13 May 1982) is a New Zealand professional basketball player who currently plays for the Nelson Giants of the NBL. He is also a regular New Zealand Tall Black.

Early life[edit]

Vukona was born in Suva, Fiji to Fijian father, Clem, and Kiwi mother, Marianne. He was raised in Fiji for the first five years of his life, before moving to the coastal city of Tauranga, a couple of hours south of Auckland. As a junior, Vukona played rugby until age 15 when his mother forced him to stop, leading him to follow his brother's footsteps and started playing basketball.[1] One code's loss was another's gain as Vukona went on to become a member of the national under 16, 18 and 20 sides.[2]

Vukona attended both Bethlehem College and Nelson College during high school. In 2000, he played for Nelson College's 'A' basketball team.[3]

Career[edit]

Vukona played for the Nelson Giants and the Manawatu Jets of the New Zealand NBL early on in his career, before being elevated from a development player to a contracted player for the 2005–06 season with the New Zealand Breakers.[4] He was a member of the Tall Blacks side in 2005 and 2006, competing in the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan. He re-signed with the New Zealand Breakers for the 2006–07 and 2007–08 seasons. He joined the Harbour Heat for the 2008 New Zealand NBL season.

In April 2008, he signed a two-year deal with the South Dragons.[5] In June 2009, following the Dragons pulling out of the NBL, Vukona signed with the Gold Coast Blaze for the 2009–10 season.[6] Following the ANBL season, he joined the Nelson Giants for the 2010 New Zealand NBL season.

In April 2010, he signed a two-year deal with the New Zealand Breakers (with the option of a third year).[7][8] In July 2010, he signed a three-year deal with the Nelson Giants.[8]

In April 2012, he re-signed with the Breakers on a three-year deal.[9]

On 7 February 2013, it was announced that Vukona would return to the Giants for the 2013 season after he originally intended to sit out the season to rest following his Breakers duties.[10]

On 28 February 2013, Vukona played his 200th game with the New Zealand Breakers.[11]

On 31 March 2014, Vukona re-signed with the Nelson Giants on a short-term contract to replace the injured Adrian Majstrovich.[12] On 23 April 2014, he left the Giants and signed with Byblos of Lebanon for the rest of the 2013–14 Lebanese Basketball League season.[13] On 7 June 2014, he made his return for the Nelson Giants following the conclusion of Byblos' season.[14]

References[edit]

External links[edit]