New Miners recruit returns to familiar territory

ON THE COURT: Ballarat Miners’ new recruit Nathan Sobey during his first training session on Tuesday night. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORDTHERE is some familiarity for Ballarat Miners recruit Nathan Sobey.
Nanjing Night Net

Plenty is different, too.

The 23-year-old officially joined the GMHBA Miners roster on Tuesday night, suiting up for his first team training session at Damascus College.

Faces are different – he does not know any of his teammates – but the uniform and the Minerdome offer a sense of deja vu. Sobey left the MARS Minerdome as a youth league player for a four-year college career with a NCAA division one college, University of Wyoming, in the United States.

He only arrived back last week, heading for his hometown Warrnambool, and could hardly wait to pull on the Miners’ uniform once more – this time in the South East Australian Basketball League.

“I’m excited … this is a really good experience to keep playing and I’m ready to get on the floor,” Sobey said.

“(College basketball) was awesome and it was great to be there for the full four years.”

How he will fit in a line-up that is in great form is a challenge for Miners head coach David Flint, who said Sobey was a fantastic addition.

At 190 centimetres tall, Sobey adds versatility to the Miners’ roster that has a wealth of point guards and big guys but could use some help, particularly defensively, on a quick No.3 or tall No.2 rival.

Sobey fills a spot vacated by Kris Blicavs, who is on the long-term injury list with a complex back injury.

He will be thrown into a gruelling month for the Miners. They have won their first three of eight matches and are set to resume by facing leading men’s heavyweights Mount Gambier, at home on Saturday night, and Dandenong on the road Sunday.

The following two weekends feature a Canberra-based double and road trip to Albury-Wodonga.

Sobey arrives with strong credentials as an athletic player that delivers plenty of intensity.

He started all 33 games for Wyoming in the 2013-14 season, averaging 9.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists.

Talks with Flint have centred on settling back into Ballarat but training soon ironed the basic on-court stuff out.

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