Red­hage in lo­cal com­pe­ti­tion in 2017

WILD­CATS CHAMP EN­TERS SBL FOR FIRST TIME

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - SPORT -

WILD­CATS great Shawn Red­hage will join the Perth Red­backs for the 2017 State Bas­ket­ball League sea­son.

Red­hage has gone out on a ca­reer high as the Wild­cats added a fourth cham­pi­onship to his equal club record six MVP awards and 393 games, 380 with the Wild­cats, to be sec­ond only be­hind Ricky Grace.

The 36-year-old an­nounced that the 2016/17 sea­son would be his last in the NBL but he is far from fin­ished on the bas­ket­ball court and will line up with the Perth Red­backs in 2017 for his first SBL stint.

Red­hage will re­tire know­ing he has never missed post­sea­son ac­tion his en­tire ca­reer with the Cats.

“In all hon­esty I didn’t re­ally know about the streak when I first came here, but it is some­thing you are proud to have been part of and you take pride in know­ing that you played a part in some of the suc­cess that the club has had,” he said.

Red­hage might not be play­ing the min­utes that he once did to earn the ‘Scor­ing Ma­chine’ moniker but he will take great pride in know­ing that he is re­tir­ing still play­ing well.

He started in the Grand Fi­nal game 3 against the Illawarra Hawks and re­ceived three stand­ing ova­tions from 13,611 fans at the Perth Arena.

His num­ber 42 will surely be re­tired to the rafters along­side fel­low Wild­cats greats of the game.

Af­ter the fi­nal siren a stunned Red­hage said, “It’s a sur­real mo­ment right now.

“There is the ex­cite­ment of win­ning a cham­pi­onship but in the back of the mind as well, you know this is the last time you are go­ing to take that court and play in front of the Red Army, and with these team­mates.

“It has been an in­cred­i­ble jour­ney and there is a wave of emo­tions, but I’m ex­tremely proud of this team and how it’s all ended.”

Once Red­hage has taken some time to re­cu­per­ate, he will turn his at­ten­tion to play­ing in the SBL un­der Nik Lack­ovic and along­side old Wild­cats team­mate Joel Wag­ner at the Red­backs.

Red­hage wanted to keep play­ing and the SBL just made a lot of sense.

“It’s one of those things where I think it’s a good op­por­tu­nity where I can still use my ex­pe­ri­ence and in­flu­ence that I’ve learned through­out my ca­reer on some of the younger guys, while still be­ing able to play bas­ket­ball in­stead of giv­ing it up al­to­gether,” he said.

“I still love to play, so I felt like my NBL days were done, but it’s a nice way to tran­si­tion into my next stage.”

Shawn Red­hage cel­e­brated the Wild­cats’ fourth cham­pi­onship vic­tory

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