BOOMING ALONG: Mullumbimby basketballer Brad Davidson making his debut for Australia against Lithuania on Monday night in the
BOOMING ALONG: Mullumbimby basketballer Brad Davidson making his debut for Australia against Lithuania on Monday night in the

Rookie at 31

By STEVE SPINKS

HE scored only two points.

But for Mullumbimby's Brad Davidson, the driving lay-up he nailed for Australia in their first-up win over Lithuania in the Gaze Cup Four-Nations basketball tournament in Perth on Monday night signalled the start of his international career.

It's been a long time coming.

Davidson, a nine-year veteran of the National Basketball League, is 31.

With his selection he instantly became the Boomers' oldest player, even though he is also the team's rookie.

"I scored two points in the third quarter," Davidson said from Perth yesterday as he prepared for his second international against China last night.

"It was a great experience. I played 15 minutes.

"I was the back-up point guard behind CJ Bruton but he got in a bit of foul trouble.

"It's (the Boomers) the first actual team I've really made.

"I never made a State team or an Australian junior team."

At 31, the Hunter Pirates co-captain admitted he thought the chance of representing his country had passed him by.

"It was a big surprise when I was called into the squad," he said.

"I'd been playing during the off-season in New Zealand so I was fit and healthy, but then Steven Black, from Brisbane, got injured.

"I got a phone call on the Friday and had to be in camp on the Saturday."

Once in camp, Davidson's confidence of being selected in the playing squad grew and finally his name was read out in the team for Monday night's match.

"It seems a bit strange making your debut at 31," the former Mullumbimby High School student chuckled.

"But because I'm a bit older I'm taking it all in, even though I carry on like an 18-year-old."

Australia were playing China last night and then flying to Sydney for a third game against New Zealand.

Remarkably, Davidson could be lining up against an old friend when the Boomers take on the Tall Blacks.

"I played in Cairns a couple of years ago and became good friends with Tony Rampton (Kiwi rep)," Davidson said.

"A couple of year ago we drove from Cairns to Mullum and I showed him around the place and he loved it.

"He said next time we'd go to New Zealand. We did and because I kept fit and healthy over there it really paid off."

Davidson played six years with the Townsville Crocodiles and two with the Cairns Taipans before joining the Pirates in 2004.

Some would call those nine years of elite basketball the longest apprenticeship on record.



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