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By Lauren• 16 Nov 2017
Last week in the midst of preparing for the upcoming Tall Blacks vs Korea basketball game, I was able to sit down and talk to proud Porirua local Jordan Ngatai about all things Wellington, food, and basketball.
While Jordan has been playing for the Wellington Saints for a number of years, he has also recently been recruited into the full-time Breakers line-up based in Auckland, and of course, our national basketball team the Tall Blacks. However, Jordan's hometown roots have never left him; Jordan still cites Wellington as his favourite place to live because of its amazing culture and ease of getting around, "you can just walk everywhere".
Jordan and I instantly bonded over our favourite spot to eat – the fabled Mama Browns. Anyone in the know is aware of just how incredible their milkshakes are, and Jordan tells me this is a popular hangout with his friends when he's in town.
Growing up in Porirua, within walking distance from the Whittaker's chocolate factory, Jordan has a keen love for all things chocolate. His daily walk to Mana College often saw him pass by this New Zealand institution, coupled with a few lunchtime excursions to pick up something sweet between classes.
A regular summer activity for Jordan is to head around to Red Rocks nature reserve – a fantastic spot to catch a glimpse of the lazy seals, go for a bit of a dirtbike, or hang out with friends and enjoy the sun.
As a social 24 year old, Jordan is no stranger to the Wellington party scene. He loves heading out with friends for a night of dancing during the off-season. A favourite local haunt when he's in town is the Wellington Sports Cafe, recently re-branded from Public, along with other Wellington institutions like the Establishment.
While it was great to talk to Jordan about his favourite Wellington suggestions, he doesn't have much downtime to relax while he prepares for the upcoming international. This is the beginning of the Tall Blacks' road to the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China, so the stakes are high for this hometown game.
The Tall Blacks haven't played in New Zealand since 2015, so its worth getting your tickets, wearing black, and heading down to support the team!