Back on the ball

QUEANBEYAN Basketball great Garry Ball admits he could be tempted to return to the court on a more regular basis following his one-off appearance in Queanbeyan’s all-star celebrity match last Saturday.

The veteran’s game was a highlight of Queanbeyan Basketball’s 35-year anniversary celebrations and also saw the likes of former NBL stars Cal Bruton, Tad Dufelmeier and Herb McEachin in action.  

Playing his first game in “four or five years” Ball still proved a handful at both ends of the court, setting up the first two baskets of the match with some silky skills inside the key. 

The ex-Canberra Cannons forward last hit the boards in the local ACT master’s competition but said Saturday’s run could entice him to suit up in Queanbeyan colours once again.

“If the body holds up, I’d be tempted,” Ball said. “I didn’t do too much out there today but it would be tempting to get together with a few of the guys again and maybe having a bit of a run.

“In saying that, the recovery period from on game to the next is just too long these days and pretty soon you start to wonder why you’re doing it.”

The celebrity game attracted a healthy crowd to the Queanbeyan Basketball Centre with spectators treated to an exhibition from some of the best players to have ever held court in Queanbeyan and Canberra.

And while the bodies were a little older, they were no less willing as players on both sides looked to blow out the cobwebs before hitting their straps in an entertaining second half.

“The finishing off was pretty ordinary out there to start with but you saw with Cal, he missed a few to start with but then he found his shot,” Ball said.

“I don’t think anyone was too worried about the score out there though, it was just good to get back together with everyone.

“I think that’s the first time I’ve ever played with Cal, I’ve only ever played against him before. And to have Herb and Tad and some of the old guys back out there, it was just lovely.”

Queanbeyan Basketball president Jan Browne meanwhile, said the success of the gala day had exceeded the club’s expectations.

“The atmosphere up at the stadium and back at the club afterward was incredible,” she said. “There were so many people reminiscing and a lot of stories told, most of which can’t be repeated in print.” 

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