NBL star targets major milestone
Taipan closes in on 300-game mark as season tips off
CAMERON Tragardh has been knocked down almost as many times as he has knocked down trademark three-pointers, but the Cairns Taipans marksman is proof if you keep getting up, you can beat the odds.
The former Brisbane junior, who began his basketball journey with Southern District Spartans, will clock up game number 300 in the Taipans’ second game of the 2015-16 season which tips off tonight with Adelaide hosting reigning champions New Zealand Breakers at Adelaide Arena.
Tragardh will play his 299th game against Illawarra at the Cairns convention Centre tomorrow night before joining the 300-game club in a blockbuster against Sydney on the road on Saturday night.
Tragardh, who turned 32 last week, has been a survivor since spending two years playing in the NCAA first division before cutting his NBL teeth with the Townsville Crocodiles in 2003.
Only five other players who will be part of the new season, headed by Illawarra entertainer Oscar Forman, have played more games than Tragardh who is entering his 13th season.
“To be able to reach 300 games and to do some of the things I have done in my career is great,” Tragardh said.
“To have all the experiences that I have had in playing with the legends like Glen Saville and Mat Campbell and being coached by Gordie (McLeod), all the grand finals, and the personal success, it’s been very surreal because it really could have gone down another path.”
The NBL is expected to receive a major boost this season with every game to be shown live on Fox Sports.
“We’re aiming to be the number one entertainers in sport,” NBL co-owner and Melbourne United owner Larry Kestelman said.
The opening game of the season between Adelaide and the Breakers will showcase NZ’s new import Charles Jackson as he fits into the championship side after Utah forward Tai Wesley stepped up his offensive input during the pre-season Blitz.
In other first-round clashes, the Townsville Crocs host Melbourne and then tackle the Breakers in New Zealand and Adelaide backs up against Perth.
SHOOTING FOR 300TH GAME: Cameron Tragardh.