CROCS BIG MAN HEADS TO THE COACHING BENCH
A GOLDEN opportunity to make his mark in the coaching world convinced departing Townsville Crocodiles centre Greg Vanderjagt to call time on his 12- year playing career.
The 31- year- old racked up an incredible 243 NBL games since debuting for Townsville in 2003/ 04 season but yesterday made the decision to walk away from his playing days and into a role as an assistant coach under Shawn Dennis.
Vanderjagt’s passion for basketball remains and he is now looking forward to getting stuck into his new role.
Vanderjagt will now work with fellow assistant coach Sam Gruggen while also helping take the Crocodiles to more schools and community events as the club’s community development officer.
“When I came back to the club two seasons ago, part of the initial discussion with Shawn and ( former general manager) Pat Reidy at the time was about me making the transition into a coaching role,” he said.
“Shawn had expressed his desire for me to play one more year and immediately after the season that’s where my head was at as well but I took some time away from basketball and had a look at the opportunities that were there.
“I see coaching as my future long term and instead of dragging another year or two out of my body I jumped at the chance to be involved with basketball development and become an assistant coach in a national league program.”
Through his time with the Crocs and a two- season stint with the Gold Coast Blaze, the Kempsey product built a reputation as a valuable role player willing to do the hard work on rebounds and down the defensive end.
He is one of the longest serving Crocs in club history and his 209 caps in Townsville colours puts him fifth on the all- time list, behind Peter Crawford ( 292 games), Robert Rose ( 258), Kelvin Robertson ( 243) and Michael Cedar ( 219).
SLAM DUNK: Veteran Townsville Crocodiles player Greg Vanderjagt
has announced his retirement from the NBL to take up a