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Wilson hunts Silver Ferns-Tall Ferns combo

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/08/2016 Angelo Risso

Maia Wilson of the Pulse warms up during the ANZ Championship match between Central Pulse and Melbourne Vixens at TSB Bank Arena on July 4, 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand. © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Maia Wilson of the Pulse warms up during the ANZ Championship match between Central Pulse and Melbourne Vixens at TSB Bank Arena on July 4, 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand. Central Pulse shooter Maia Wilson was so taken aback by Wednesday's Silver Ferns call-up, she asked roommate Shannon Francois if she was reading her acceptance letter correctly.

The prodigious 18-year-old, who completed the 2016 ANZ Championship with a 92.2 per cent accuracy rate in front of goal, is in line to make her international netball debut in next week's Quad Series bout with England.

If she does so, the 1.89m Wilson will join a select few Kiwis to have represented the country in both netball and basketball.

Wilson was selected for the Tall Ferns aged just 16 for a tour of China, and was forced earlier this year to choose between the two sports.

She is yet to regret her decision.

"I had my bags all packed and ready, thinking I'd be stoked if I made New Zealand A," Wilson told NZ Newswire.

"Then I opened the letter, read it once, read it twice, and said, `Shannon, am I reading this right?' And then just stood there in absolute shock.

"It was honestly pretty surreal."

Wednesday's selection caps off a whirlwind seven days for Wilson, who was in Canberra until Monday morning with the under 21 team.

The Pulse star is joined in the Silver Ferns attack by blooded internationals Ameliaranne Ekenasio and Bailey Mes, as well as fellow debutant Te Paea Selby-Rickit.

She was quick to emphasise her need to grow into the squad as its most inexperienced player and sole teenager.

Wilson said she was yet to perfect her strength-based game.

"I need to remind myself I'm still young and do have a lot to learn," she said.

"It's a huge privilege just to be in the 12, and whatever opportunity comes my way, I need to take hold of that."

Wilson, who has relocated from hometown Auckland to play in Wellington, credits former Silver Fern and Pulse shooter Jodi Brown for her progress.

A career-ending knee injury forced Brown out of the game in March, giving Wilson the space to shine at club level.

Wilson said Brown had been nothing but supportive of her development.

"She's a wealth of knowledge and to have her support is amazing," Wilson said.

"Having her there is something I'll forever cherish as she's just an amazing athlete to have come out of New Zealand netball."

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