Ashleigh Udesike (née Kelman-Poto)
The BNZ Kāhu are delighted to announce that Ashleigh Udesike (née Kelman-Potu) has re-signed for the 2023 Tauhihi Aotearoa season.
During last season Ashleigh announced that she was pregnant with her second child.
Since that time life has been a whirlwind with Ash marrying husband Meke, giving birth to a baby daughter, returning to the work force and fulfilling a career ambition to play for the Tall Ferns.
“Having two children is awesome and being married is awesome too,” says Ash.
Ash acknowledges that balancing family needs, training and work is a significant challenge but with the help of her family she makes it work.
“I have an amazing supportive family. Meke, my husband, has given me the green light to do what I do and looks after the children when I can’t.
“The family support has allowed me to get back to towards where I need to be in terms of fitness.
“Meke’s mum Jackie and my mum and dad have been really great too. Especially mum who came on the Tall Ferns trip to Europe as my nanny.”
Ash had been chasing her Tall Ferns dream since school days and in early June that dream was finally realised.
Not only did she play all five games on tour but baby Nauvoo was their to witness mum’s international debut against Serbia.
Ash admits the flight to Belgrade was a shock to the system.
“It was my first trip to Europe and I didn’t realise how long the trip was!
“BBNZ were great to facilitate me taking baby Nauvoo – it was amazing that they could help me with that.
Ash hopes it won’t be the last time she dons the black singlet.
“It took a while to get the opportunity and I’m still going with it. I hope it’s not the last one but either way it was a great experience. For sure I would like to do it again, I got a taste of international basketball and I loved it.”
Back in Auckland and preparing for the Kāhu season Ash has had to factor into her schedule a return to work.
“I’ve just started work again and I’m grateful to my employers who allow me to train an play during the basketball season.
“Kāhu have been really great also which makes everything so much easier.
“I’m very excited about the upcoming season,” concluded Ash.
Kāhu fans are also very excited to see Ash and the team step out on the court again.
Ashleigh joins IlmarI Thomas, Krystal Leger-Walker, Akiene Tera-Reed, Jaycin Tini and Tahlia Tupaea on the 2023 Kāhu roster. Further player signings will be announced in the coming weeks.