Miners add key COVID piece

July 15, 2021 BY

King of the kids: New South Wales COVID escapee Emmett Naar will join the Miners for the remainder of the season. Photo: SUPPLIED

WHILE the NBL1 South season may be well underway, that hasn’t stopped management at the Hotondo Homes Ballarat Miners from seeking to strengthen the squad’s line-up.

Last week saw the addition of Emmett Naar, a 194-centimetre-tall point guard who’s fresh out of the top tier of the national competition where he played for the Illawarra Hawks under former Ballarat coach Brian Goorjian.

Naar said he’s had some experience with the city but his temporary relocation due to COVID-19 restrictions in New South Wales would take some getting used to.

“Really looking forward to getting to work with the team,” he said. “[I’ve] been here in Ballarat a few times and played here and it’s a great town. It seems like [they] love basketball out here, so I’m really excited.

“Got to get used to the cold a little bit, but that will come. I’m from New South Wales, so it is a bit of adjustment with the temperature.”

Naar, who did three seasons with the Hawks in the NBL, in-addition to time as an under-19 national rep player, and NCAA duty with Saint Mary’s College, California said the offer to join the Miners was “a bit out of the blue.”

“I was visiting my parents in Tasmania on a break, expecting to go back to Wollongong, but the lockdowns happened there.

“Choc [Brendan Joyce] gave me a call and asked if I was interested in playing. When he called me it sort of made sense… it would be a good thing to do rather then go back to lockdown. I can play for a good team and get experience.”

As for where Naar will fit into a Miners side that’s been running hot of late, he’s open.

“I think it’ll just sort of evolve as we fit together,” he said. “The guys have won three games in a row, they have a good thing going, so my job’s to sort of keep that and not interrupt the flow.”

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