What is Last-Tear Poa’s ethnicity? The cultural significance of her unique name

Last-Tear Poa

Last-Tear Poa has led two teams to their debut national championships in three years. She led the team to championship glory in her first season at Northwest Florida State College, earning the NJCAA Tournament MVP accolade. Following another strong season, Last-Tear transferred to LSU. 

Last-Tear’s parents and siblings watched from Australia as she helped the Tigers outscore Iowa by 17 points. 

“They [her family] are so pumped; they’re so loud,” Last-Tear told The Next Hoops. “They’re just shocked. And I’m shocked. I just can’t believe it.”

Last-Tear Poa is of Polynesian ethnicity; her family hails from the Cook Islands, French Polynesia

What is Last-Tear Poa's parents

Last-Tear Poa was born in 2001 to Natasha Kairangi Poa and Philip Poa in Melbourne, Australia. She is of Polynesian ethnicity, as her family hails from the Cook Islands, French Polynesia. 

The LSU star plays basketball thousands of miles away from her Australian home. She misses the Polynesian events and celebrations she takes part in. ‘Back home, at big events, there are always people dancing,” Last-Tear told The Advocate. “We wear hula costumes and dance. The boys do the haka.”

Last-Tear told the outlet that she’s hesitant to perform the hula before her American teammates. She keeps in touch with her culture by cooking Polynesian food. 

It’s difficult for Last-Tear not to have her family close. However, she often communicates with her parents and two younger siblings via FaceTime. “Before games, I sit and eat my chicken alfredo by myself and call my siblings, Heavenly and Kingston, back home,” Last-Tear said. “I love being a big sister.”

Last-Tear’s grandparents, Richard and Debbie, traveled to the United States to support her during LSU’s championship run. 

Last-Tear was named after the last tear that her great-grandmother shed, in accordance with Polynesian culture

The story behind Last-Tear’s unique name stems from her great-grandmother, who died before Last-Tear’s birth. 

In a video posted by LSU Women’s Basketball and Last-Tear on Instagram, she stated that her great-grandmother, lying on her deathbed, prophesied that one of her descendants was pregnant. Last-Tear’s great-grandmother shed a tear as she passed away. 

“It’s the circle of life – it is what it is,” Richard, Last-Tear’s grandfather, said. “She just sat up, took her last breath, and laid back down, and passed away. There was one last tear that dropped out of her eye and we said we gotta name the next child that comes along Last-Tear, whether it’d be a boy or a girl. It’s like a culture thing.”

“I have a beauty spot of the last tear that came down her eye, so I think that’s very special for my family to even see that,” Last-Tear said.