At just 24-years-old Maia Wilson’s already enjoyed a storied netball career built on hard work, determination and a love for the game. 

The Robinhood Stars shooter became one of the youngest players to reach the 100 national league games milestone during the Stars’ convincing 59-38 ANZ Premiership triumph at home over rivals the MG Mystics. 

Wilson debuted in 2016 as an 18-year-old for the Central Pulse in the ANZ Championship – playing 13 matches in her first season and then debuting for the Silver Ferns later that year against Jamaica. 

She returned home to join the Stars in their inaugural season in 2017 and is the only foundation player to remain with the franchise for every season since their inception. 

Wilson says it’s special to mark 100 games while wearing the purple dress of the Stars. 

“I’m really proud of myself and the way I’ve been able to transform over the last seven or so seasons. I started as an 18-year-old fresh out of high school with the Pulse, being independent for the first time out of home. To come back and play for this club in a region that I’m really passionate about, it’s been great to help build it up.” Wilson said. 

“Words aren’t enough to describe how I feel about this team. For a little growing up with really strong ties to South Auckland and to be able to be a pivotal part of growing a team for our people, I think is bigger than anything I could achieve on the court.” 

Wilson’s been a rock during her 87 games with the Stars, epitomizing what the team stands for and was rewarded with the captaincy honour ahead of last season.  

Her and her teammates have formed a tight bond on and off the court, which has helped the Stars shoot themselves well into finals contention with three games remaining in the regular season.  

Wilson says the camaraderie amongst the group is unique and it means a lot to have their unwavering support. 

“I’m so grateful to have a group that trust me to be their captain, lead them and be their voice as a collective, but also back me every week. I might not have my greatest game, or I might have my greatest game but no matter what their support is constant.” Wilson explained. 

Wilson’s experienced the highs and lows that come with netball and life. When reflecting on a key moment in her netball journey, Wilson hones in on one year in her career that stands out most. 

“2020 when lockdown hit and we were able to get a season out of the Auckland Netball Centre is memorable. I had a really rough personal time with my mum getting cancer and the Stars and netball was my home and distraction away from it and I’m really grateful for what the game of netball has been able to do for me and get me through some really tough times.” 

With 100 games now under her belt, Wilson’s showing no signs of slowing down as she tries to lead the Stars to ANZ Premiership glory. However, despite being in a fast-paced environment where it’s often about moving swiftly onto the next task at hand, Wilson’s allowed herself to take time to realise what she’s achieved and knows her younger self will be awe of her accomplishments. 

“I’m really proud of myself. I don’t think I ever would have dreamed to be playing netball in South Auckland in particular. I grew up being a massive fan of the Mystics and to now be a role model for young girls around the country and particularly those of Maori and Pacific Island descent is a role I don’t take lightly and I’m privileged to have it.” 

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