Isaac Fotu

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Isaac Fotu
No. 42 – ratiopharm Ulm
PositionPower forward
LeagueBasketball Bundesliga
Personal information
Born (1993-12-18) 18 December 1993 (age 25)
York, England
NationalityNew Zealand
Listed height6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High schoolRangitoto College
(Auckland, New Zealand)
CollegeHawaii (2012–2014)
NBA draft2015 / Undrafted
Playing career2011–present
Career history
2011–2012New Zealand Breakers
2017–presentratiopharm Ulm
Career highlights and awards
  • NBL champion (2012)
  • First-team All-Big West (2014)
  • Big West co-Freshman of the Year (2013)

Isaac Fotu (born 18 December 1993) is a New Zealand professional basketball player for ratiopharm Ulm of the German Basketball Bundesliga. He also represents the New Zealand national team in international competition.

Early life[edit]

Born in York, England to a Tongan father and an English mother, Fotu and his family moved to New Zealand when he was seven and settled down in Auckland.[1] As a teenager, Fotu attended Rangitoto College and played club basketball for the North Harbour Basketball Association, representing the club at U17, U19 and U21 levels. In June 2011, he was named to the all-star five of the Nike All-Asia Camp in China, an invitation-only tournament for some of the best young high school players throughout Asia and Oceania.[2]

On 4 July 2011, Fotu signed with the New Zealand Breakers as a non-contracted development player for the 2011–12 NBL season. Being non-contracted still allowed him to pursue opportunities in the American college system without jeopardising his amateur status.[2] On 11 November 2011, he played his first and only game for the Breakers, appearing the final 46 seconds of the team's 81–63 loss to the Wollongong Hawks.[3]

On 22 November 2011, Fotu signed a National Letter of Intent to play college basketball for the University of Hawaii.[4] After the University of Hawaii suggested that he might contravene NCAA rules if he played for a professional team, Fotu did not play again for the Breakers, nor did he play for the Harbour Heat during the 2012 New Zealand NBL season despite signing with the club.[5]

College career[edit]

As a freshman at Hawaii in 2012–13, Fotu earned Big West co-Freshman of the Year honors and in doing so, became just the second UH player to earn league freshman of the year honors. He also earned Freshman All-American honors from In 32 games (18 starts), he averaged 10.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 25.1 minutes per game.[6][7]

As a sophomore in 2013–14, Fotu earned first-team All-Big West and second-team NABC All-District 9 honors, becoming just the 11th UH player ever to be named all-district. He also earned Academic All-Big West honors. On January 25, 2014, he scored a career-high 30 points on 13-of-16 shooting in an overtime win over UC Irvine. In 31 games (all starts), he averaged 14.9 points and 6.1 rebounds in 30.8 minutes per game.[6][7]

On 29 October 2014, Fotu was ruled ineligible to play in 2014–15 after an NCAA investigation revealed he received improper benefits as a student-athlete. He was told he could continue practicing with the team but could not participate in games.[8] He subsequently announced on 3 November that he was leaving the program to pursue a professional contract overseas.[9]

College statistics[edit]

2012–13 Hawaii 32 18 25.1 .623 .000 .663 6.2 1.0 .2 .8 10.1
2013–14 Hawaii 31 31 30.8 .584 .125 .733 6.1 .7 .4 .8 14.9

Professional career[edit]

On 12 November 2014, Fotu signed a three-year deal with CAI Zaragoza of the Liga ACB.[10][11] Two weeks later, he was loaned to La Bruixa d'Or Manresa for the rest of the season.[12] He went on to make his debut for Manresa on 29 November, recording two points and two rebounds in a loss to Joventut Badalona.[5][13] The following game, on 7 December, he made his first start for Manresa, recording 16 points and 6 rebounds in a loss to Iberostar Tenerife.[14] In 26 games for Manresa in 2014–15, he averaged 10.7 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.

Fotu returned to Zaragoza for the 2015–16 season, making his debut for the club on 11 October 2015. On 3 April 2016, he had a 16-point game against CB Estudiantes, and on 11 May, he had an 18-point game against Valencia BC.[15]

National team career[edit]

Fotu, at the age of just 17 years, became the youngest player to represent the Tall Blacks when he made his international debut in August 2011 at the Stanković Cup in Guangzhou, China where he helped them win the tournament. The following month, he helped New Zealand win the inaugural FIBA 3x3 World Youth Championship in Italy.[16]

Fotu competed for the Tall Blacks at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain where he averaged 9.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in six games.[17]

After helping lead the Tall Blacks to the 2015 Stanković Cup title, Fotu played in the two-game FIBA Oceania Championship series against Australia in mid-August.[18][19] New Zealand were defeated 2–0 as Fotu recorded a total of 18 points and 18 rebounds over the two games.[20][21]


Fotu is the son of Manu and Jenny Fotu,[5] both of whom reside in Torbay, Auckland. His father played professional rugby in England. He also has two younger brothers and two younger sisters.[6]


  1. ^ Hinton, Marc (25 September 2011). "Tall Black Isaac Fotu shoots for the stars". Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b Hinton, Marc (4 July 2011). "NZ Breakers' development players named". Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Player statistics for Isaac Fotu". Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Men's Basketball Signs Elite New Zealand Prospect". 22 November 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Lacy, Mike (3 December 2014). "THE ISAAC FOTU STORY". Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  6. ^ a b c "Isaac Fotu – 2013–2014 Men's Basketball". Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Isaac Fotu Stats". Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  8. ^ DeMello, Rob (29 October 2014). "Fotu ineligible to play for UH, poaching attempts reported by players". Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  9. ^ Dauster, Rob (5 November 2014). "Hawaii officially loses star player to professional basketball". Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  10. ^ Hinton, Marc (12 November 2014). "Tall Black Isaac Fotu signs for Spanish club". Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  11. ^ "Isaac Fotu to sign a three-year deal with CAI Zaragoza". 11 November 2014. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  12. ^ "CAI Zaragoza to loan Isaac Fotu to Basquet Manresa". 25 November 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  13. ^ "Regular Season Round 9: La Bruixa d'Or - FIATC Joventut 79-84". Sports I.T. 29 November 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  14. ^ Anderson, Niall (8 December 2014). "Fotu Impresses In First Start". Archived from the original on 10 December 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  15. ^ "El CAI Zaragoza acaricia la hazaña con una gran remontada (75-78)". (in Spanish). 11 May 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  16. ^ Chapman, Grant (27 November 2011). "Basketball: Young Fotu set for Hawaii life". Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  17. ^ "2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup – Isaac Fotu". Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  18. ^ Hinton, Marc (10 July 2015). "Isaac Fotu ready to take another giant leap with Tall Blacks". Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  19. ^ Arsenis, Damian (8 August 2015). "Webster and Fotu lead Tall Blacks to the Stankovic Cup". Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  20. ^ "Australia vs New Zealand". 15 August 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  21. ^ "New Zealand vs Australia". 18 August 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2015.

External links[edit]