After six years of tertiary education and numerous part-time positions within sport and recreation, Daniel secured an ideal full time role within local government in November 2010.
Away from work, Daniel has 18 years of cricket experience under his belt and has coached and served on committees at numerous clubs. He also plays baseball in winter and is again a member of the club committee.
Sport and recreation is an obvious interest for Daniel and his articles reflect that, especially his knowledge of cricket and football.
The owner, manager and editor in chief of Pen & Paper Sports, Daniel hopes to see the site grow from strength to strength in the future.
I had the pleasure of attending my first live NBL game in quite a few years last Saturday. It was held at The Cage and it was a first class encounter between the unbeaten New Zealand squad and the new-look Patty Mills having Melbourne Tigers. It was a much hyped game due to the war of words between the Melbourne Tigers staff and ex-player Darryl Corletto who was sensationally let go by the Tigers to make room for Mills.
The first thing I noticed when I entered The Cage, was the atmosphere. I had been there a month or so ago when I had the pleasure of attending the Boomers vs. NZ game and I must say that the atmosphere was just as electric as it had been for that game. Tigers colours were everywhere, hand clappers were being distributed, Patty Mills jerseys being worn (which I must say I went and purchased at half time to fulfil my experience!) and the place was alive.
Next on the agenda was the passion of the fans. The place was rocking, chants were being belted out and the crowd were really behind the Tigers but also I felt, the game of basketball. There is no doubt that the lack of NBA action has basketball purists gagging for some high quality action, and it was delivered in spades on this occasion. The final score-line didn’t really do the game justice with scores in the mid-60’s but there was only a handful of points the difference all game.
The level of play was outstanding with sharp defence and crisp offense on display as well as the usual freak athleticism shown by players in this day and age. In a time where basketball fans may be turning to other sports to get their fill of elite level stuff, the Tigers did enough to ensure that NBL basketball will be a big winner out of the lockout and looks to be trending upward after quite a few seasons of mediocrity.
There is no doubt that the NBA lockout has affected the sport of basketball. After its biggest ratings in a long while, the lockout appears to have done some damage to the casual fan who just wants to see the game played at its highest level. Mills and Bogut have not played in the vast number of “charity” games that seem to be going around, rather opting to promote the sport in their home country. They have ditched the low defence high scoring exhibitions to come back to Australia and grow the local league and promote the local talents. They should receive big props for doing this. They could be out sunning themselves, working out, going to the vastly more lucrative euro leagues – but they are here, and the fans are here too.
I am shattered that the NBA star world tour may not eventuate, but not THAT shattered. But then again, I have witnessed some of the best basketball played in the past few months simply by taking the trip down the highway to The Cage.
From my experience with the Boomers game and the most recent Tigers game (where they knocked off the previously undefeated and last year’s NBL Champion New Zealand Breakers) basketball in Australia is alive and well. What we need to do now is to take the lead of Mills and Bogut and stop looking overseas and to these charity games to satisfy our hunger, stop watching youtube clips and old highlight DVD’s get down to as many games as you can and support your sport. The Cage has the talent and the atmosphere – the rest is on you!
Image courtesy of zimbio.com