Prizes over points
Zi Yang reaps rewards after adapting his game from scorer to creator
Standing at just 1.74 metres on the basketball court, Ang Zi Yang admits he is often blocked off when he drives inside the paint or attempts a lay-up.
When he first picked up the sport at the age of eight, he loved scoring points.
Over the years, the 15-year-old has had to change his game - becoming more of a passer; a point guard who dictates the game.
It has reaped dividends.
The Bukit Panjang Government High vice-captain helped his team to the West Zone title last March.
He recorded 17 points and 10 assists in the West Zone final against Unity Secondary, and received the tournament's Most Valuable Player Award.
"I'm glad my training paid off and I am thankful for my coach and teachers who supported me," said Zi Yang, whose favourite NBA player is Golden State Warriors' point guard Stephen Curry.
"I liked to shoot a lot in the past. But, after a while, I realised that to be a better player, I had to be a playmaker and share the ball.
"It's not about scoring a lot of points but about helping the team to win games."
Unfortunately for Bukit Panjang, they could repeat their win over Unity in the Schools National second round and were eliminated.
But, on a personal level, Zi Yang was selected for the Combined Schools Under-16 team and also plays for Sin Kee Basketball Club in Division 1 of the National Basketball League.
Like many young athletes, he used to struggle to balance his grades and sporting commitments.
Initially, the lack of proper time management caused the 15-year-old to struggle academically. But support from his parents and teachers have helped him over the past two years.
Fabien Yong, his teacher-in-charge, said Zi Yang has made big strides in juggling studies and basketball.
Yong said: "Zi Yang got into Bukit Panjang Government High through the Direct School Admission Scheme as he did not attain the entry score of 244.
"He struggled to balance his additional training for the Combined Schools Under-16 team and it took a toll on his academic results.
"I explained to him that he isn't the team captain because he tends to give more time to sport than his academics.
"That spurred him to be better in the classroom."