Otago Daily Times

Tim­mins play­ing for team his heart is in

BAS­KET­BALL

- JEFF CHESHIRE Sports · College Sports · NBA Basketball · Basketball · Otago · Denver Nuggets · National Basketball League (Australasien) · Canterbury · University of Washington · Washington · New Zealand · Durham Bulls · National Basketball League · Invercargill

SAM Tim­mins is fi­nally back in blue and gold — and you can feel his ex­cite­ment.

The 23­year­old will make his first ap­pear­ance in Otago colours since 2014 to­mor­row at the Na­tional Bas­ket­ball League’s 3x3 tour­na­ment in In­ver­cargill.

He played twice for the Nuggets as a 15­year­old, be­com­ing the fran­chise’s youngest ever player.

A back in­jury forced him to miss the 2014 NBL, be­fore he re­turned to play for the Otago un­der­19 team later that year. That was a long time ago now. He had a stint in Can­ter­bury as the Nuggets be­gan their hia­tus, be­fore five years at the Univer­sity of Washington.

On his re­turn to New Zealand he signed with the Franklin Bulls for this year’s NBL, be­fore the Nuggets’ last­minute re­turn.

While he re­mained loyal to the con­tract he signed, it also proved to him where he wanted to be.

‘‘Play­ing for the Bulls made the de­ci­sion [to play for the Nuggets] eas­ier, to be hon­est,’’

the 2.11m cen­tre said.

‘‘Be­ing in the ho­tel and see­ing the Otago team walk­ing around, I was like ‘man, that should be me; I should be play­ing for Otago. I shouldn’t be rep­re­sent­ing any­one else, just be­cause my heart’s not in it like it would be for Otago’.’’

Along­side him will be Josh Aitch­e­son and Richie Rodger — who he came through the age­grades with — and Kane Keil — who he played with on var­i­ous New Zealand age­grade teams.

There was plenty of shoot­ing

 ??  ?? Sam Tim­mins
Sam Tim­mins

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