Cats back in ac­tion


Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Aaron Cortlett

THEY have played hun­dreds of Na­tional Bas­ket­ball League games be­tween them and now Shawn Red­hage and Alex Loughton are giv­ing back to the game.

The duo are suit­ing up for the Perth Red­backs in the State Bas­ket­ball League, the for­mer for the whole sea­son and the lat­ter for the four games.

Red­hage and Loughton were team­mates at the Perth Wild­cats for two sea­sons be­fore Loughton moved to play in Spain. He then suited up for the Cairns Taipans, where he is still a ros­tered player.

Red­hage said he wanted to play for the Red­backs af­ter re­tir­ing fol­low­ing a fourth NBL cham­pi­onship with the Wild­cats ear­lier this month be­cause he wanted to give back to the game while hav­ing fun.

“There’s al­ways a hunger to play. I felt like my body was still al­low­ing me to play and the op­por­tu­nity to play for the Red­backs came up and I had a chat to my fam­ily and I de­cided it would do it,” he said.

“We’ve got some young guys who do have a lot of ta­lent, so that is ex­cit­ing, and they have had some op­por­tu­ni­ties and have played well in the first cou­ple of games.”

Red­hage said he was happy to play with Loughton again be­cause of his ex­pe­ri­ence of play­ing overseas and in the NBL.

“He’s a com­peti­tor on the court; he’s al­ways go­ing to give the team a lift and he’s solid on both ends of the court and as a big guy, he’s one of the best three-point shoot­ers in the league,” he said.

Loughton said he was ex­cited to play a few games in his off-sea­son to keep in shape.

“At this stage the com­mit­ment is just for four games as a fill-in role but it fits my time­line stay­ing ac­tive,” he said.

“I’m get­ting older in my ca­reer and the ad­vice is to keep the mo­tor turn­ing.”

Loughton said it was fun to play with Red­hage again and pick up where they left off many years ago.

“Shawn has al­ways had a good mo­tor so he’s al­ways in at­tack mode; he’s hard to stop when he’s in that frame of mind,” he said.

“I have been play­ing against him for many years now, so it has been re­fresh­ing to be on his team this time around.”

Red­backs men’s coach Nik Lack­ovic said the idea of bring­ing Red­hage and Loughton was to ben­e­fit the young play­ers on the team.

“They have been ter­rific dur­ing ev­ery ses­sion and dur­ing the games you can just watch the watch the way they go about it,” he said.

Alex Loughton and Shawn Red­hage are giv­ing back to the game by play­ing with the Perth Red­backs.

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