Meet the 17-year-old niece of Steven and Dame Valerie Adams tipped to be women’s basketball’s next big star

While NBA superstar Steven Adams’ season is over, it's just starting for another member of his famous sporting family who's being tipped as the next big thing.

It's hard to pin point what makes a great athlete but there's something in the Adams family that's shooting them ahead – just look at Sharne Pupuke Robati.

At almost 2 metres in height, the Kiwi teen may have a different last name but her genes come from our country's biggest sporting stars - her uncle and aunty being Steven Adams and Dame Valerie Adams.

"Everyone's tall," Sharne said.

"I think I've stopped growing but yeah, heights in the genes!"

While it's unsure whether her uncle will ever don the black singlet, the Tall Ferns’ bronze medal performance at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games has only made the hunger stronger for Sharne.

"Seeing all the girls there and watching them at night time just makes me want to train harder to get there."

And she's already impressing around the country.

Sharne was instrumental in the Under 17 team that competed at the Asian Championships last year, averaging a double-double (more than ten points and ten rebounds per game) throughout the entire tournament.

She’s even getting the nod from tall ferns co-captain Natalie Taylor.

"She probably, genetically, has a lot of what it takes to be a good player," Taylor said.

"And she’s surrounding herself around good coaches and a good association."

Sharne's association is the Auckland Dream who yesterday won their opening game in the women's Premier Basketball Championship.

Sharne's mother Patricia Pupuke is also a part of the team, seeing first-hand how tough it is for the teen to manage both academics and basketball.

"It's tight but I think that’s something they have to learn, being able to juggle her schoolwork and sports," she said.

And if she wants to make it to an American University, she'd better listen to the advice from her uncle.

"To have fun… and also to be smart in school from uncle Steve - he said without smarts you can't play basketball."

You can't argue with that logic.