Basketball: Wildcats legend Redhage to lace up boots for Perth Redbacks in SBL

Shawn Redhage celebrated the Wildcats’ fourth championship victory
Shawn Redhage celebrated the Wildcats’ fourth championship victory

WILDCATS great Shawn Redhage will join the Perth Redbacks for the 2017 State Basketball League season.

Redhage has gone out on a career high as the Wildcats added a fourth championship to his equal club record six MVP awards and 393 games, 380 with the Wildcats, to be second only behind Ricky Grace.

The 36-year-old announced that the 2016/17 season would be his last in the NBL but he is far from finished on the basketball court and will line up with the Perth Redbacks in 2017 for his first SBL stint.

Redhage will retire knowing he has never missed post-season action his entire career with the Cats.

“In all honesty I didn’t really know about the streak when I first came here, but it is something you are proud to have been part of and you take pride in knowing that you played a part in some of the success that the club has had,” he said.

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Redhage might not be playing the minutes that he once did to earn the ‘Scoring Machine’ moniker but he will take great pride in knowing that he is retiring still playing well.

He started in the Grand Final game 3 against the Illawarra Hawks and received three standing ovations from 13,611 fans at the Perth Arena.

His number 42 will surely be retired to the rafters alongside fellow Wildcats greats of the game.

After the final siren a stunned Redhage said, “It’s a surreal moment right now.

“There is the excitement of winning a championship but in the back of the mind as well, you know this is the last time you are going to take that court and play in front of the Red Army, and with these teammates.

“It has been an incredible journey and there is a wave of emotions, but I’m extremely proud of this team and how it’s all ended.”

Once Redhage has taken some time to recuperate, he will turn his attention to playing in the SBL under Nik Lackovic and alongside old Wildcats teammate Joel Wagner at the Redbacks.

Redhage wanted to keep playing and the SBL just made a lot of sense.

“It’s one of those things where I think it’s a good opportunity where I can still use my experience and influence that I’ve learned throughout my career on some of the younger guys, while still being able to play basketball instead of giving it up altogether,” he said.

“I still love to play, so I felt like my NBL days were done, but it’s a nice way to transition into my next stage.”