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Nothing but net in Brisbane


BRISBANE Spartans’ initial bold plans to push for an NBL license may have wound up on the shelf but the SEABL men’s program has received a huge boost with CJ Bruton its new head coach.

Bruton shares the record with David Stiff as the two men with the most NBL Championship rings at six apiece.

Stiff got there first, his six split into two each with Adelaide 36ers, Sydney Kings and Melbourne Tigers, for coaches Phil Smyth, Brian Goorjian and Al Westover respectively.

CJ claimed three with the NZ Breakers, two with Sydney Kings and one at Brisbane Bullets under three more of the game’s great coaches – Andrej Lemanis, Brian Goorjian and Joey Wright respectively.

Never officially “retired” as an NBL player, Bruton will bring a wealth of personal experience to the Spartans’ coaching role, not only as one of the league’s premier game-winning assassins but as a bona fide winner.

The dual-Olympian (2004-08) and World Championship (2006) Boomer also won the 2005 Gaze Medal as Australia’s International Player of the Year, and in 1997 was selected in the second round of the NBA Draft by Vancouver Grizzlies.

His position at the Spartans also will be a dual one with CJ additionally Junior Development Officer for Southern Districts Basketball Association.

“I am very excited about the new challenges ahead with the Brisbane Spartans juniors and as head coach of the men's SEABL team, particularly to help with the development of the young talents at the club,” Bruton revealed in a club press statement.

Former Brisbane Bullets and Gold Coast Rollers NBL swingman Rodger Smith, now a member of the Spartans’ SEABL committee, believes securing CJ is “one of the biggest coups in Brisbane basketball for years.”

“The club is looking forward to seeing CJ develop during his role as Junior Development, Junior Coach mentor and SEABL coach,” he said.

“CJ's personality and charisma will play a big role in the future development of the juniors as well as men and women within our association.”

No-one can dispute Bruton’s charismatic persona makes him one of the NBL’s most enduring and popular success stories.

In his 1994 NBL debut, Bruton’s first shot was a halfcourt heave for Perth Wildcats against North Melbourne Giants at the Glasshouse.

Yeah.

Nothing but net.

Just like the Spartans’ announcement.

Dec 17

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