BYU Basketball Adds New Zealand Native Guard To Upcoming Roster

Aug 9, 2021, 12:50 AM
BYU Basketball - Paora Winitana...
Former American Heritage guard Paora Winitana has committed to BYU. (Photo courtesy of American Heritage High School, Dave Buer)
(Photo courtesy of American Heritage High School, Dave Buer)

PROVO, Utah – The relentless approach Mark Pope incorporates into his BYU Basketball program adds another prospect on the recruiting trail.

BYU landed a commitment from New Zealand native Paora Winitana on Sunday night. Winitana is a 6-foot-6, 245-pound guard who prepped at American Heritage High School in American Fork.

He wrote on his personal Instagram page, “Decided I’ll stay home for college. #committed”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Paora Winitana (@pwinitana10)

Winitana will join the BYU basketball program for the 2021-22 season as a walk-on. He’s the 17th player on the roster, and he’s the ninth player on the roster entering his first season with the BYU basketball program this year.

A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Winitana plans to enroll at BYU this upcoming season, then he will serve a mission for the Church and return for the 2024-25 campaign.

Paora Winitara: Before BYU basketball snapshot

Before moving to Utah, Winitana was an MVP at the U15 New Zealand Nationals tournament. He prepped at St. John’s College, Westlake Boys Academy in New Zealand before moving to Utah at American Heritage before his junior year.

During his senior year at American Heritage this past winter, Winitana averaged 26 points, 15.5 rebounds, 7.1 assists, and 3.0 steals per game. Winitana was a 2A First Team selection this past spring.

While he was filling up the state sheet at AHHS, Winitana’s play caught the attention of BYU coaches. BYU assistant coach Cody Fueger began contacting Winitana at the midway point of his senior campaign.

Winitana’s father, Paora Sr., was an accomplished basketball player and is an active member of the Church. Paora Sr played professionally from 1996 to 2016 for teams in New Zealand and Australia.

With Winitana now committed, BYU is expected to have three walk-on players this season. All three players had prep careers in the state of Utah. Those three include Olympus’ Jeremy DowDell, Pleasant Grove’s Casey Brown, and Winitana (American Heritage).

The last BYU basketball player to hail originally from New Zealand was Michael Thompson, who played in 1996-97.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

BYU Cougars

BYU Football, Jay Hill, Defensive Coordinator...
Mitch Harper

BYU Continues To Install Jay Hill’s ‘Complicated’ Defense During Spring

BYU defensive coordinator Jay Hill is putting together one of the nation's toughest defensive schemes.
1 day ago
Shane Reese, BYU, Big 12...
Mitch Harper

What New BYU President Shane Reese Means For Cougar Sports

BYU has hired a new president. What does it mean for BYU sports?
1 day ago
Braeden Moore, BYU Basketball, Transfer Portal...
Mitch Harper

BYU Freshman Braeden Moore Enters NCAA Transfer Portal

BYU's first scholarship player to enter the Transfer Portal during the 2023 cycle.
4 days ago
BYU Women's Basketball | Amber Whiting...
Mitch Harper

BYU Women’s Season Comes To Close With WNIT Loss To Rice

The first year of the Amber Whiting era is in the books.
5 days ago
BYU, Utah State, Food Bank...
Mitch Harper

BYU, Utah State Football Teams Made Large Donation To Utah Food Bank

Members of the BYU and Utah State football teams joined forces at the Utah Food Bank.
5 days ago
Kyle Ireland

Saints RB Jamaal Williams ‘Can’t Wait To Mess’ With Former BYU Teammate Taysom Hill

Former BYU and current Saints RB Jamaal Williams said that he "can't wait to mess" with his former college and new NFL teammate Taysom Hill.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
BYU Basketball Adds New Zealand Native Guard To Upcoming Roster