‘Ral­phy’ to hit mile­stone with Buccs

Geraldton Guardian - - Sport - Justin Fris

Loyal S&K Elec­tri­cal Geraldton Buc­ca­neers bas­ket­baller Aaron Ralph will suit up for his 300th game to­mor­row against the Wil­leton Tigers at Ac­tivewest Sta­dium.

Born and bred in Geraldton, “Ral­phy” de­buted in 2006 and is known for his long-range shoot­ing.

As a ju­nior, he played many sports, but fell in love with bas­ket­ball at an early age and grew up sup­port­ing the Buc­ca­neers.

“I think I had a bas­ket­ball in my hands as soon as I could walk,” he said.

“I al­ways played lots of sports like kids in Geraldton do, but I fell in love with bas­ket­ball about the age of 15, quit ev­ery­thing else and just kept play­ing.”

Al­though the mile­stone is spe­cial to him, Ralph said he was more fo­cused on help­ing his team­mates con­tinue their good run head­ing into the play­offs.

“Not much has changed in terms of (pos­i­tive) cul­ture at the club since I started,” he said.

“All of the boys are re­ally good mates on and off the court.

“On the week­ends, we al­ways find time to catch up.”

Ralph said he had seen the qual­ity of play­ers across the SBL in­crease, along with the tech­nol­ogy avail­able for coaches to dis­sect game film with the ros­ter.

“When I started 10 years ago, there wasn’t a lot of video footage done but now, once a week, we get to watch the footage that the coaches want us to im­prove on.”

Ahead of to­mor­row’s clash, Ralph said the Buc­ca­neers were acutely aware of depth through­out the Tigers’ ros­ter. “They’re a tough team,” he said. “They have four good scorers and run five or six play­ers deep. We’re up for the chal­lenge.”

Buc­ca­neers coach Aaron Tra­hair said Ralph and cap­tain Mat Wun­den­berg had be­come the real “glue” of the squad.

“The ma­jor­ity of their scor­ing comes from their three guards and they are a very tal­ented team,” he said. “They aren’t sit­ting in third spot for no rea­son. They got one over us ear­lier in the sea­son, but I like to think we are a lot bet­ter pre­pared this time.”

Tip off is 7.30pm.

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