Two big signings for Miners

December 26, 2018 BY

Dotted line: Ballarat product Sam Short and Hotondo Homes Ballarat director Adrian Willingham both signed with the Miners recently. Photo: ALISTAIR FINLAY

SANTA came early for the Ballarat Miners this year with two well-earned gifts on the same day.

Sam Short will be back on deck for 2019 inaugural season of the reincarnated South East Australian Basketball League, and the team has locked in Hotondo Homes Ballarat as a naming rights partner.

Short said looking forward to returning to play for his home team.

“The opportunity to come back home and play in front of my home crowd again is something I’ve always wanted to do,” he said.

“I just wanted to come back and give back to the community.”

The 195cm guard grew up in the region and played his junior basketball in the local league.

This summer season he’s been plying his trade with NBL side Melbourne United and will be bringing what he’s learned back with him.

“I’m just looking forward to coming back to Ballarat and trying to show that I’ve gotten better from last season,” Short said.

“Learning to be an athlete 24/7 has its challenges but [it’s] really just bettering myself as a player in all facets of the game.”

Short said he was also keen to get onto the court at the Miners new stadium in the middle of next year.

“Obviously a major draw card for me coming back is getting a chance to play in that new stadium,” he said.

“We saw what Bendigo did with their centre, I think ours is going to be better.

“Hopefully we can pack it out a couple of times and get a great atmosphere in there.”

Along with the resigning of Short, the Miners second big announcement last week was that Hotondo Homes Ballarat is now the team’s naming rights partner until 2021.

That means the senior men’s elite team will be known as the Hotondo Homes Ballarat Miners.

Hotondo Homes Ballarat director, Adrian Willingham said the approach of the company fitted well with the Ballarat Basketball Association.

“Being a very family-oriented business, and always have been, we thought why don’t we mix up with Ballarat Basketball and the Miners because they are a family club and basketball seems to be very welcoming,” he said.

“We look forward to a great partnership.”

The Miners will hit the court sporting the Hotondo mark on their singlets, and Short anchoring the defence sometime in March with the season schedule set to be released soon.

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