NICK Alexandrou is excited to turn a one-time Big V opponent into a teammate.
The former Chelsea and Maccabi centre will play alongside Warrnambool Seahawks coach Tim Gainey in 2019.
The pair are familiar with each other’s game styles, having faced off in past seasons.
“It’s been a little while since I played against him,” Alexandrou said.
“He’s almost as tall as I am but he handles the ball, shoots the ball, so he was always tough to guard when we played against him.
“He’s a little bit older, I wouldn’t say slower, but he used to be a six-foot-four, six-foot-five guy who used to drive through the lane and take on anyone.
“That’s what I remember of Tim so it’s going to be good to play with him.”
Alexandrou, 29, said the Warrnambool crowds were renowned throughout the league.
“I can’t wait for it. I have played against the Seahawks multiple times and everyone knows the crowd is a big thing here and everyone gets involved,” he said.
“I’ve been on the opposite end of the crowd and it is exciting to think I am coming in here and being part of the team that they’re rooting for, that’s an exciting prospect in itself.”
Alexandrou returns to basketball – his “true love of sport” – after a stint playing football.
He played for Bonbeach in Melbourne before moving to Warrnambool two-and-a-half years ago with his partner Amy Gibson, who he met during a basketball game at the Arc.
He decided to stick with football and spent one season with Hampden league club Warrnambool before joining Warrnambool and District outfit East Warrnambool.
The ruckman won the Bombers’ best and fairest in 2018 but felt the time was right to return to basketball.
“I’m traditionally a basketballer, played a lot of Big V in Melbourne and junior basketball,” Alexandrou said.
“Although I did play junior footy, I was always a better basketballer than a footballer and I did enjoy it more at stages.
“I went to footy to have a try which I also enjoyed, it was a different style of game. There’s a lot less pressure on individuals and it’s a bit more enjoyable in some aspects.”
Alexandrou, who will team with veteran Simon O’Keefe and teenager Aidan Carroll in the key for the Seahawks, said he liked to use his strength to his advantage.
“I am old-school because I like playing as a big man in the post and the way basketball has transitioned it’s all about shooting threes,” he said.
“Traditionally I like to go inside the paint and kick outside so you’re still getting those threes, you’re just getting them a different way.”
The Big V season starts on March 16.
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