How did you get started playing basketball?
The first team I played for was my primary school team. I already loved basketball – my whole family including my uncles, cousins and my older brother all played, so I started playing when I was about 5 years old. Then I competed with my brother out in the backyard every day after that. I started domestic under 8’s basketball almost at the same time.
My junior pathway was through Kilsyth basketball. I played rep ball and some Victorian Youth Championships there, and U23’s league when I was 17 and 18, and then I was picked up as development player to go to Adelaide. From there I was picked up by Wollongong as a development player for a year and then finally returned home to Melbourne after that.
What do you love most about the game?
I really enjoy the team side of it and how fast the game is played. Basketball is a really non-stop game – there’s a lot of action going on, and that athleticism and quickness is something I’m really drawn to.
It’s also a game typically people my size don’t excel in, so I think it’s a really cool thing to be able to defy the odds every night.
Who are some people who inspire you – professionally or personally?
Personally, I’d say my mum. Early in our lives she raised us boys almost by herself before my stepdad came along and helped. Those two inspire me to make them proud and give back to all the Friday nights they were driving me around. They drive me to be at my best.
Professionally, I drew inspiration from watching Steve Nash as a kid. He was my favourite player of all time. I was really drawn to the way he played the game. He was a similar size to me now, and he won two NBA MVPs. He inspired me to play a certain style and I think that’s really benefited me.