Aimee Berkett

Covid-19 has meant a disruptive year for 20-year-old Richmond- born basketball player Amiee Book.

Currently on a scholarship in California, Amiee says that Covid-19 has meant that things are ‘pretty crazy’ in the United States.

“Covid is a big issue over here in America right now. I think people need to take it very seriously,” Amiee says.

The young athlete has been playing for as long as she can remember.

“My family is a huge basketball family, so my childhood consisted of constantly being in gyms and round basketball,” Amiee says.

After finishing a one year scholarship in Christchurch, Amiee received a four year basketball scholarship to California State University, Fullerton.

Amiee honed her basketball skills while she was a student at Waimea College where her father Ed Book, a former NZ basketball player, was a teacher.

At the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak, Amiee returned to New Zealand when the season was cut short and her classes were moved online in mid-March.

Once New Zealand moved down to level 1 Amiee made the decision to return to California as restrictions there were being eased. However, a surge in new Covid-19 cases in California has meant that the state has gone into another lockdown.

As of July 13th, California was averaging 8,211 new cases a day.

Quarantining with her teammates back in California has benefits for the young athlete. Being with her teammates during lockdown means the team, who are unable to access gyms or stadiums, are able to train together and keep fit with home workout.

A normal day of training for Amiee is a 3-hour basketball stint followed up by an hour of condition or lifting exercising.
“Our trainings are very intense, and you have to show up every day ready to give your all.”

While she misses her family, who now live in Christchurch, Amiee says she has people to look out for her

“My team is like my second family and we are all here to support each other.”

Amiee says she hasn’t considered moving back to New Zealand.

“I feel like my opportunities are much greater over here so I intend to finish my full four years.”

Amiee’s scholarship has been renewed regardless if the season gets cancelled, she will get another year of eligibility to play.

“I don’t think corona will impact my future long term.”

Amiee’s end goal for basketball is to play for as long as she can while loving the game, and to travel the world through basketball.

“Once I stop feeling the love and passion for the game that is when I will know it is time to move on to the next chapter of my life.”

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