SPECTRES SHIFT INTO OVERDRIVE WITH WALKER
NUNAWADING BASKETBALL | With the opening two rounds in the rear-view mirror and a 3-1 record on your lap, the Nunawading ‘Burwood One’ Spectres men have opened their NBL1 campaign in reasonable fashion. With starting swingman Andrew Steel and veteran reserve Jesse Caspersz who were yet to suit through injury, the general observer could identify that Nunawading still had another gear to come.
But Head Coach Dave Biwer wasn’t content and won’t be for his Spectres to simply ‘be thereabouts’ in the inaugural NBL! Season. So, the Spectres shuffled the deck and brought in NBL veteran and Australian Boomer Lucas Walker.
Having finished up in Cairns with the Taipans, the timing was perfect as Walker returned to Melbourne for a number of 3x3 engagements. Biwer was quick to swoop and Walker was in uniform for the Spectres Round 3 clash against Eltham at The Graveyard Friday night. Off the bench on debut - Walker met many of his teammates for the first time just an hour before tipoff - he posted an impressive 16 points on 6-8 shooting, 7 rebounds and 4 assists helping the Spectres to a dominant 100-76 win over the Wildcats.
What was most notable though was the manner in which Walker slotted seamlessly into such an established group - much of the Nunawading team has been together for near on a decade. He knew where to space the floor, where to find the open man and fought for possession on every rebound and loose ball scenario. As notable was that his addition has bolstered what was already one of the more formidable frontcourts in the league, playing alongside Simon Conn and Dain Swetalla who is enjoying his most productive start to a season.
Nunawading also welcomed Steel and Caspersz back into the fold against the Wildcats, and with two weeks and a number of team sessions between games, the signs are ominous ahead of the Spectres Round 4 clash with the 3-1 Frankston Blues.
Walker, a Launceston native has recorded 217 NBL games, returning career averages of 6.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per outing. He brings a wealth of experience having played for the Melbourne Tigers, Melbourne United, Adelaide 36ers, Perth Wildcats and Cairns Taipans - not to mention also being a product of the St Mary’s College talent factory and Australian Institute of Sport.
That resume and the ability to step straight into a lineup and impact positively across the floor now allows the Spectres the flexibility and depth to hit the overdrive button.
When Nunawading next roll the balls out on Saturday 27 April, it’s likely to be a jam packed Graveyard as the best fans in NBL1 flock to support the most potent team in town.