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Horsham "hat trick" as Bruce joins 36ers


ADELAIDE 36ERS' connection to the western-Victorian township of Horsham has continued with the NBL club now signing the third of its trio of greatest basketballers, Shaun Bruce.

Bruce, 28 and a 190cm point guard, has a short-term contract to replace Sixers import Ramone Moore who reinjured his calf last round, ironically against Brisbane.

That was Bruce's previous playing destination after breaking into the NBL with Cairns Taipans in 2012-13. He joined the Orange's intrastate rival Bullets on a two-year deal in 2016.

Last year at Wellington Saints in the New Zealand national league, he averaged 16 points a game, following a year with Mackay Meteors in the QBL where he was named MVP and averaged 22.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 9.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game.

PSST. Wanna come play for us?  Sure. Is there an opening? Anthony Drmic and Shaun Bruce.

Horsham has produced three great NBL players and Adelaide has played a role in each one's career.

Shaun's brother Aaron joined the 36ers as a rookie in 2008-09 after a stellar playing career at storied US college Baylor University.

Debuting with a 22-point game, Aaron (pictured) claimed the NBL's 2009 Rookie of the Year award after averaging 9.7 points, 2.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 29 games.

He became the club's third Rookie of the Year, following the footsteps of Mike McKay (1985) and Chris Blakemore (1993), and ending a 16-year drought for Adelaide.

(It took only a further eight years for the 36ers to again claim Rookie honours, with Anthony Drmic successful in 2017).

Horsham's second great basketballer is Mitch Creek, whose career as a 36er has been well-documented and ranks highly as one of the great ones in Adelaide's history.

Creek was a past 36ers captain, the reigning club MVP and very much the face of the club over most of the past decade before being lost to the NBA G-League's Long Island Nets.

On the threshold of an NBA career - which would make him Horsham's greatest player (if he isn't already) - sadly for 36ers fans, he has committed to join the new South East Melbourne Phoenix should he fall short of the NBA.

But that in no way can diminish the magnificent service Creek gave Adelaide and the 36ers as part of two grand finalist teams. He also broke into the Australian Boomers and cemented his role as a starter through the Gold Medal-winning FIBA Asia Cup campaign and FIBA World Cup qualifiers.

Shaun Bruce now completes Adelaide's "Horsham hat-trick" and means the club has scooped the pool.

Bruce will suit tomorrow night against Perth at Titanium Security Arena, meaning he should play the required number of games to be eligible for playoffs, should the 36ers reach the Final Four this season.

Moore, the NBL's Best Sixth Man last season, reinjured the calf which kept him out of four games earlier this season, a situation which ultimately played a role in the 36ers releasing import playmaker Adris DeLeon.

With his playmaking and organisational skills, not to mention his streaky 3-point shooting and tremendous defensive hustle, Bruce should prove an immediate asset.
In the 2014-15 NBL season at Cairns, Bruce was the key backup for the Taipans in their championship campaign which ended in Grand Final defeat in New Zealand.

Jan 16

Content, unless otherwise indicated, is © copyright Boti Nagy.