Local News

Taipans Name Captain And Vice

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By Batistaya - Own work, Public Domain, Link

The CQUniversity Cairns Taipans have voted, and seasoned NBL pros Alex Loughton and Lucas Walker will front the team as captain and vice-captain respectively throughout their 2018/19 campaign.

Just days away from his official debut as an NBL Head Coach, Mike Kelly was pleased with the outcome of a comprehensive selection process to identify the two captains in his new squad.

“I definitely thought both Alex and Lucas possessed qualities that I would require for leaders of a basketball team and club. And, although other guys on the team stood out as well – those two were clear choices by the group,” said Coach Kelly.

“Both of them have been respected everywhere they have played, and both have a reputation of being really hard workers, and really good team-first guys. That’s huge for us, as we try build our culture with eight new players on the roster.”

Entering his ninth year as a Taipan, this is the second time that Loughton, 35, has taken on the captaincy duties and Kelly said that his extensive experience couldn’t be denied.

“Al already has a great connection to the community and the team – and that was a big plus for him. This team knows he really has a feel for Cairns, the club and the culture here.

“His appointment is important as it also serves as a recognition and extension of some of the great things that have happened here in the past.”

Walker, 33, has had limited on-court opportunities due to injury, but despite being on the side lines, has made a significant impact on the group since signing in April.

“Without being on the court every day, he’s still been a great influence and the team have seen first-hand how hard he has been working to get himself back on the court.

“He’s set a standard and shown how important all the team details are to him, he’s voiced his opinions and he’s gone out of his way to help others with his experience.”

As previous years, Taipans team psychologist Jodii Maguire assisted with the captaincy process that involved each player identifying their values and goals, and then voting on who best represented standards and behaviours that would help drive them forward.

“Leaders are going to lead,” said Coach Kelly.

“We intentionally waited for our pre-season campaign to finish before electing the captains, so the group had enough time together to recognise who was willing to step up, and do it naturally. Both Alex and Waxy have been leading from the get go, and I’m really proud of the way they have conducted themselves.”

Michelle Price has been working as a journalist since 1999 and loves human interest pieces.

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