Mildura Weekly : Friday July 3 2015 Vol 9 No 34
24 SPORT MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2015 playing domestic basketball with Imps Wildcats, Mer- bein Cobras, Alcheringa Saints and Mildura Demons, his current team. He collected several club and league MVP’s along the way, and at representative level, firstly with the Maver- icks and later with Mildura Heat, played in six grand fi- nals, sharing two wins with the Heat. Shannon started his rep- resentative career with the Mildura Southern Mavericks as an 18-year-old, and what he lacked in height, more than made up for with light- ning dashes down the court, bullet-like passes, tough defence and a sweet three- point shot. He has no idea how many times he has found the net over the years, and also hasn’t counted the number of games in the Sunraysia Basketball Asso- ciation competition’s sum- mer and winter competition – conservatively well over 1000, but he is philosophic about a chequered career fi- nally drawing to a close. He says it will allow him to spend more time with wife Carrie and youngsters Livvy, Kobe and Jag, maybe play a few more rounds of golf, do a bit more travel- ling, and support Mildura Heat from the sidelines. Shannon admitted he had been thinking of giv- ing the game away for the past few seasons, but still re- ally enjoyed playing with the current group of top-class locals including Dave Meyer, Brent Symons, Paul Andrio- tis, Michael Wade and Jason Spratt. He also can’t speak high- ly enough of the contribu- tion made by long-time and dedicated coach Jamie Ma- digan. “Jamie has been great for local basketball,” Shannon said. “He lives and breathes the game, is very knowledge- able, has a great passion for basketball and has shown amazing commitment over many years. “Other coaches who have helped me and others along the way include my first coach Barry Knights, and later the talented Rex Nottage, Peter Lonergan and Shane Phillips.” Shannon has experi- enced many highlights dur- ing his lengthy basketball career, including the game against Bogut’s AIS team be- fore a capacity crowd of 1200 at the (now) St Joseph’s Col- lege Stadium in 11th Street, flying to Tasmania, Sydney and Melbourne for weekend double-headers, and play- ing a curtain-raiser against the Adelaide 36ers on their home court before 5000 people. “One thing I have always appreciated is the great sup- port from my family and friends, and the great sup- porters who come along to barrack for us through the good times and the bad,” he said. “I want to personally thank all the people who have supported me during my career. “I have made many life- long friends during the past 28 years, I still keep in con- tact with former team-mates spread around Australia and the world, and I hope to catch up with many of them in future travels. “As far as milestones go, the 500th game seems to have come along pretty quickly, and I hope we get a packed stadium – and a win – for the July 11 game against Southern Peninsula.” IT should be standing room only at the 8th Street Mildu- ra Toyota Hothouse next Sat- urday night, July 11, when Mildura Heat pocket rocket dynamo Shannon Erskine hits the court for his 500th game of representative bas- ketball. It’s a huge milestone for the 40-year-old point guard veteran of 28 seasons, and will cap off a career that has included team and individu- al honours at local, regional and interstate level. The popular father of three says 2015 will be his last year of basketball, and says he has been lucky, and honoured, to play with, and against, some of the best players in Australia, and the world. He vividly recalls the time the then young Aus- tralian Institute of Sport gi- ant Andrew Bogut played his first game in Mildura as a 17-year old, scoring 41 points, taking 20 rebounds with other good stats for blocks and assists, taking the then Mildura Mavericks apart in attack and defence. Bogut later took the American college basket- ball world by storm, was snapped up within a few years as the NBA’s first draft pick on a multi-million dollar contract, and is still playing, currently with 2015 NBA Champions Golden State Warriors. Shannon played along- side, and had high words of praise, for internationals Billy Ross, Jermaine Wil- liams, Damon Lowry, Byron Jenson, Todd Lichti, ‘Jump- ing Joe’ Hurst, Kevin Smith, Calvin Henry and others, and also spoke highly of the ability of Australian NBL tal- ent including Ryan Knights, Lachlan Armfield and Mike McKay. Shannon started his ca- reer as a 12-year-old, play- ing as one of the ‘Baker’s Boys,’ an Irymple Tigers ju- nior team put together and coached by the late Mike Baker. Shannon graduated to Irymple seniors, where he stayed for several years, later The outstanding domestic and representative basketball career of Mildura-born Shannon Erskine is coming to a close, with his decision to pull the pin after the 2015 season. But in the meantime, there’s 500 reasons to celebrate... Major milestone for veteran point guard • MONUMENTAL MILESTONE: Mildura Heat veteran Shannon Erskine will celebrate his 500th game next Saturday against Southern Peninsula. NBA and Olympic star to visit Mildura AUSTRALIAN NBA star Patrick Mills, RIGHT, will be guest speaker at the Toyota Hothouse on Fri- day, September 4 from 7.30pm. The San Antonio Spurs point guard will talk about his decorated basketball career, which includes the 2014 NBA Championship. Run by the Alcheringa Basketball Club and the Mildura Basketball Asso- ciation, the evening will also include a memora- bilia auction. Tickets are now on sale, with more informa- tion available by contact- ing the Toyota Hothouse on 5023 2241. Available in selected supermar kets and newsagencies For your nearest stockist call 03 5024 8333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Visit our website www.milduraliving.com.au and follow us on facebook For adver tising call Sharon Lyell 0428 291 626 WINTER ISSUE ON SALE NOW ThePerfectGiftIdea...SUBSCRIBENOW!
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