Centralian Advocate - May 8 01
The night the roof at Traeger Stadium lifted
The main event hadn’t even started yet the Traeger Stadium crowd was in a frenzy on Saturday night.

As Alice Springs Basketball Association development officer spokesman Michael Trainer said: “Alice folk don’t get to see this quality basketball every day.”

Court announcer, Cairns Taipans star Dewey Michaels, plays the crowd like a harmonica with his slick American accent.

His announcement that the game will start in 10 minutes and that the Victoria Titans stars are waiting to put on a show sends the crowd into delirium.

Sure it was an exhibition game, but in the end it was a thriller.

The Alice Springs All Stars came back from a 15 point deficit to go down to the Alice Springs Titans by a point.

Local boy Jonathan Schwalger narrowly missing a shot on the busser for the All Stars after local hero Kaine Hodge had put the Titans in front.

The main event was a fitting climax to a week of activities that saw NBL starts sleeping under the stars in Aboriginal communities and being taught how to prepare a kangaroo meal in the traditional manner.

The trips to the communities, the coaching clinics and the exhibition game are part of the Athletes as Role Models Tour.


Former South East Melbourne Magic star Adrian Newell was one such player who took part in the exhibition match.

But it was not his first time here.

Newell said: “I came here two years ago to Pupunya, but didn’t stay overnight – so this was a good opportunity to get a feel for the Aboriginal culture out there, which is something 90 per cent of Australians don’t get to see.

“The talent of the young basketballers here is also very impressive>

“Kaine (Hodge) is a very good raw talent and the girls are skillful too.

“The enthusiasm of the local kids is also sensational.

Often I do clinics with city kids and it is nothing special to them because everything is handed to them, where as kids in communities get the biggest buzz.”

Newell has spent the week in at Maryvale spreading the message of having a healthy lifestyle, including “staying away from alcohol”.

The Athletes as Role Models Tour contingent left for Yulara following the weekend activities in Alice Springs.

Meanwhile, action in the ASBA’s Men’s League and Women’s League continues tonight at Traeger Stadium.

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