NEW Rockingham basketball import Vinny Zollo has come from the “centre of the basketball universe” to help the Flames to hopefully a successful 2017 season, which starts tonight against the Perth Redbacks.
Zollo (24) and former Cleveland team-mate Donovan Jack arrived in Rockingham about three weeks ago to prepare for the new season.
Zollo played college basketball in Cleveland, arriving in the city in July 2014 when legend LeBron James announced he would be returning to play for the Cavaliers.
“The Cavs won game six in the 2016 final series during my last week of college,” he said.
“Then they won game seven and the victory parade was just an unbelievable time.
“It was a great experience being in the centre of the basketball universe.”
Zollo played at Cleveland State for two years before he signed an agent and secured his Rockingham gig late last year. He said he had noticed a high level of support for the sport since arriving in Rockingham and was excited about the season ahead.
“It’s just awesome to see, especially coming from a place where it all started,” he said.
Jack (23) played for Pennsylvania State University for the past three years.
“Now I’m here in Australia having fun,” he said.
“I’m looking to compete and win as many games as possible; I don’t like losing so we’ll see what happens.”
Zollo and Jack will also coach younger Flames players and at local primary schools.
The Flames are gearing up for a big year at the Mike Barnett sports stadium, including a new mascot, Burnie, and cheerleaders to help generate an exciting home atmosphere.
About 200 people attended a sponsors meet and greet last week to launch the 2017 season.
Tonight’s game against the Redbacks starts at 6.30pm.