SEAHAWKS captain Jake Spruhan will make his last local sporting appearance tonight when his division one men’s team competes in the Warrnambool Basketball Association grand final.
Spruhan’s dominant Wranglers will take on the young up and coming Mbengas in what has been touted as a classic encounter, with a squad of fresh legs trying to take down the experience of established winners in three straight grand finals.
The local competition is commonly used as off-season training for much of the Seahawks squad — big man Adam Urwin also plays for the Wranglers, while Leigh Saffin, Josh Dean and James Mitchell will compete for the Mbengas.
After sitting out the last half of Warrnambool’s Big V campaign this year with a broken wrist, Spruhan expects to join his former club Sherbrooke next year, having completed his aquatic science degree at Deakin University.
“It’s not easy for me to leave — I really love it here but there’s not much I can do about it,” he said of the move.
“The people here have been the highlight of my stay in Warrnambool. The Seahawks accepted me right away and I’ve probably played my best basketball here.
“Coming so close to winning the championship last year was heartbreaking but a great experience.”
Spruhan said his broken wrist was about 90 per cent healed and he would wear a brace for his last basketball game at the Arc.
“It’s been fantastic playing with the Wranglers. They’re a great group of guys and it’s competitive as hell, even though it’s just local stuff,” he said. The Wranglers have been an elite local men’s basketball team for many years, built around the pure shooting of Peter Stapleton and the silky skills of triathlete Rohan Creed.
The grand finalists split their four head-to-head games this season, indicating a nail-biting clash, with the defence and team offence of the Wranglers against the youth and scoring of the Mbengas.