Perth Wildcats coach Rob Beveridge will write a regular column for thewest.com.au during the NBL season.
To play 250 games of NBL basketball is a true achievement, and on Friday a player I’ve had the absolute privilege of coaching for four years now reaches that significant milestone.
Shawn Redhage is the ultimate professional in the way he does things, he dots the Is and cross the Ts on everything, he is meticulous. I wouldn’t say he has the natural born talent of a superstar but he has earned everything that he has achieved through the way he goes about doing his weights, his shooting, his recovery, his nutrition, everything he does is spot on and as good as I’ve ever seen from any player. That is why he has played 250 games.
When I got to the club four years ago he wasn’t a great three-point shooter, so he identified his strengths and weaknesses and made himself a threat from outside the arc. That’s just one example of the work ethic of Shawn Redhage.
I often say that players, and people in general, have to go through some adversity to establish their true character and Shawn has done that.
He came to Australia all those years ago and after some success in the SEABL got signed by New Zealand but was cut just half way into the season, and that only made him a harder worker, to prove to himself and others that he deserved to play in the league. The Wildcats then picked him up and with six MVP seasons and a championship to his name he has definitely shown how good he is.
When he had his hip injury I sat there and heard doctors say that this is probably the end of his career, let alone his livelihood with his family outside of basketball. However once again Shawn took this opportunity as a chance to prove them wrong. Through hard work he rehabilitated himself and it is an absolute credit to him in the way he come back the way he has.
Shawn may not be a natural born leader through talk, but he is one of the greatest leaders by example and every player has learned something from him.
I think looking at Shawn’s 249th game, Friday’s game against Cairns, you can see that he has plenty of basketball left in him. He was sensational in that game and scored a season-high 26 points. At 32 years of age he may be in the twilight of his career, but with the way he looks after himself and manages his workload, I’d expect to see him on the court for years to come.
To be a coach and watch him develop on and off the court as a player and as a man is a real privilege. I am honoured to have Shawn Redhage as a player that I can say I’ve coached.
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