NBL star tar­gets ma­jor mile­stone

Taipan closes in on 300-game mark as sea­son tips off

Isis Town and Country - - Sport -

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.

PHOTO: FILE

SHOOT­ING FOR 300TH GAME: Cameron Tra­gardh.

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