INVERCARGILL isn’t a destination where an elite Australian basketballer aspires to end up.
However, Jarrad Weeks has no regrets.
In fact, the talented Australian has gone as far as suggesting he got lucky when he decided to put pen to paper with the Sharks in his debut season in the New Zealand National Basketball League.
The 29 year old now hopes everything will align to ensure he will be back in Southland next year as well.
“I’m glad to be down here in Southland. The facilities, the support that this team gets is unbelievable. I’m glad I wound up here,” Weeks said.
“It’s been an unbelievable experience and hopefully I’ll be back again next year. I would love to come back.”
The Australian import – who will line up for the New Zealand Breakers in the Australian league later this year – has been a key figure in Southland’s surge towards this weekend’s NBL finals in Wellington.
The Sharks will take on the Nelson Giants on Saturday night with the hope of progressing to Sunday’s grand final against the winner of the Wellington Saints v Hawke’s Bay game.
“We are definitely going [to Wellington] to win two games and a title. That was our goal at the start of the year. If it wasn’t, why would you play?”
Southland finished the regular season with a 103-87 loss to Nelson in Invercargill last Sunday, but Weeks was adamant the Sharks would be better come play-offs time.
“It was a hard game knowing where we stand and not really playing for much. But we really wanted to do it for the sponsors and the fans who come out every week, that is why we were disappointed after [the Nelson] game. We owed our fans a bit more, they do so much for us. It was a sad way to go out at home,” he said.
“[Nelson] went on a run in the second quarter where they hit about seven threes in a row. We need to take that key aspect away from them.
“We’ve got some things to work on, we didn’t really want to show too much. We kept some things close to our chest and worked on some other things. I don’t really think the score reflected what we were trying to do out there.”
Weeks and coach Judd Flavell both said the defensive end of the court needed tightening heading to the play-off stage of the season.
“We have got so many threats out there on offense, we are never worried about that. We need to lock teams down and get into our running game, from there we are going to be unstoppable,” Weeks said.