THEY have played hundreds of National Basketball League games between them but now Shawn Redhage and Alex Loughton are giving back to the game.
They are suiting up for the Perth Redbacks in the State Basketball League, the former for the whole season and the latter for the four games.
Redhage and Loughton were teammates at the Perth Wildcats for two seasons before Loughton moved to play in Spain before suiting up for the Cairns Taipans, where he is still a rostered player.
Redhage said he wanted to play for the Redbacks after retiring following a fourth NBL championship with the Wildcats earlier this month because he wanted to give back to the game while having fun.
“There’s always a hunger to play, I felt like my body was still allowing me to play and the opportunity to play for the Redbacks came up and I had a chat to my family and I decided it would do it,” he said.
“We’ve got some young guys who do have a lot of talent so that is exciting and they have gotten some opportunities and they played well in the first couple of games so that’s exciting.”
Redhage said he was happy to be playing with Loughton again because of his experience of playing overseas and in the NBL.
“He’s a competitor on the court, he’s always going to give the team a lift and he’s solid on both ends of the court and as a big guy, he’s one of the best three-point shooters in the league,” he said.
Loughton said he was excited to play a few games in his off-season to keep in shape.
“At this stage the commitment is just for four games as a fill-in role but it just fits my timeline staying active,” he said.
“I’m getting older in my career and the advice is to keep the motor turning.”
Loughton said it was fun to play with Redhage again and pick up where they left off many years ago.
“Shawn has always had a good motor so he’s always in attack mode, he’s hard to stop when’s in that frame of mind,” he said.
“I have been playing against him for many years now so it has been refreshing to be on his team this time around.”
Redbacks men’s coach Nik Lackovic said the idea of bringing Redhage and Loughton was to benefit the young players on the team.
“They have been terrific during every session and during the games, you can just watch the watch the way they go about it,” he said.