Perth Wildcats veteran Shawn Redhage is preparing to take on NBL championship-winning teammate James Ennis when the pair meet in Puerto Rico’s national league next week.
Redhage, 33, spent the past few NBL off-seasons playing with Quebradillas Pirates in Puerto Rico, where he and former Wildcats guard Kevin Lisch won a championship last year.
Redhage has signed a short-term deal with rival club Arecibo Captains this year and leaves Perth to link up with his new team on Sunday.
His first game will be on May 17 against his former club Quebradillas, who signed NBA prospect Ennis as their star import this year.
“It will be fun playing against Jimmy again and I’m sure he’ll flex some muscles after a couple of dunks,” Redhage said.
“I’d definitely rather have him on my team than playing against him, but those are the cards that are dealt.”
Redhage turned down an opportunity to re-join the Boomers squad in order to suit up in the Puerto Rican league, which features fellow NBL stars Daniel Johnson, Gary Wilkinson and Sam Young.
Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis was keen to include Redhage in his squad for the four-game series against China, starting with two games at Challenge Stadium on May 29 and 31.
The remaining games will be played in China on June 6 and 8.
“I spoke to Andrej and he was definitely understanding of the situation I was in,” Redhage said.
“It was a shock for me because I haven’t been a part of the program since the Beijing Olympics six years ago.
“I thought my national team days were probably over, but with a few guys retiring at the four-spot it opens up some doors and it’s just kind of a wait-and-see.
“If I get the opportunity and it works out, then you’ve definitely got to look at it because it’s pretty special to represent your country.”
Redhage had a stellar 2013-14 NBL season, averaging 13.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
He played all 33 games as the Wildcats clinched their sixth championship and second of Redhage’s distinguished career.
The veteran has two years left to run on his Wildcats contract and is confident he is fit enough to continue playing.
“I probably saw the physio the least out of any season that I’ve been with the Wildcats and I felt really good at the end of the season, so I think that’s a good sign,” Redhage said.