Lesila Finau: From Half-Court Games With Her Brother to Division One College Basketball

Mataio Finau, DJ Williams, Tala Fattah

Kaushikee Nayudu, Associate Managing Editor

Lesila Finau, currently a senior at Dublin High, is one of the talented athletes who will be playing for the University of Minnesota Twin Cities’ Division I basketball team this fall. Recently, the Shield sat down with Finau to capture this athlete’s story and aspirations.


Finau revealed that she had been playing basketball casually since elementary school. She started playing for an official team in the sixth grade, when her mom signed her up for an AAU team and she was selected for the Wells team.


“My brother was the one that got me started because I looked up to him as a kid so I thought everything he did was so cool and then basketball grew into something that I loved,” Finau explained.


Finau divulged that over the years she had been struggling with the lack of sleep and balancing her academic and athletic workloads. Offering advice to other student athletes, Finau encouraged them to know what their workload was before school starts so they can structure their time effectively. Finau conceded that it would be difficult to maintain good grades in college while balancing her basketball career and explained that her “greatest priorities going into college [were] to work hard in regards to both academics and sports.”


Finau’s hard work through the years has clearly paid off, as she will be playing for a Division I college team this fall. Finau expressed her conflicting feelings about the transition, revealing that she was “excited to play for my new coaches and create friendships with my new teammates” but also worried about adapting to little things like the cold weather and college. Finau was confident in her abilities to adapt to the process and was working everyday to prepare for the transition.


Finau’s aspirations for her career after college definitely set her apart from the crowd. Finau mentioned that while she would like to continue playing basketball, one of her future goals was to play basketball in a foreign country rather than in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She “would like to experience a new culture, and to better her skills as well.”


With her success in earning a place at an elite Division I basketball team and college, we have no doubt that with her dedication Finau will be able to accomplish anything she sets her mind to. We’re looking forward to following Finau in her basketball career and wish her all the best in her academic and athletic endeavours.