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Former Perth Wildcat joins Rockingham Flames

Rockingham FlamesSound Telegraph
Jackson Hussey played two NBL games for the Perth Wildcats in 2016-17. Photo: Supplied.
Camera IconJackson Hussey played two NBL games for the Perth Wildcats in 2016-17. Photo: Supplied. Credit: Supplied.

One-time Perth Wildcat and experienced State Basketball League campaigner Jackson Hussey has signed on to play with the Sinclair McDonald’s Rockingham Flames in 2020, saying he is “all aboard the Peto-bus” in the club’s quest for a first men’s championship.

Hussey, 27, who has previously played for Wanneroo, Perth, Geraldton and Willetton in the SBL, was preparing to retire at the end of the 2019 season and move to the US with his wife, but a delay with his paperwork will see him remain in WA for another season and pull on the black and orange for the Flames.

“Last season I was preparing for it to be my last,” he said. “My wife and I decided we would move back to the US so she could continue her studies, while I would continue working in junior basketball development. But with my US permanent residency taking a little longer than expected I reached out to Ryan Petrik to see if there was an opportunity.

“I feel like joining Rockingham was a case of everything being at the right time and the right place for both parties. I’ve only recently arrived back in town, so with the limited amount of planning on my end it was great to hear from Ryan and the direction he was going.”

The 190cm shooting guard spent two years at the University of Pikeville in Kentucky where he averaged 8.6 points per game in his senior year and made more than 50 percent of his shots from the field.

He was recruited by the Wildcats as an injury replacement for Jarrod Kenny during the 2016/17 NBL season and played two games.

Hussey also took part in the 2017 SBL All-Star game and was a member of the SBL Select Team that took out the 2018 Malaysia Hoops Challenge championship. Last season, Hussey averaged 16.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4 assists per game for the Willetton Tigers.

Hussey hopes to secure an SBL championship with the Flames while provide leadership and believes his positive shooting game could help take the Flames to the next level.

“Joining a very talented team can be challenging. I’m hoping to fill a floor general position, making sure we are all in the right spots, running the right actions, and getting the ball to hot hands; possibly a little mid-range game too,” he said. “There’s no shortage of key players on this squad. Each team is coached and put together differently, so I’m just excited to learn, grow, and play a fun brand of Flame basketball. The goal is to win a championship.”

Coach Ryan Petrik said Hussey made an immediate impression on his teammates just by showing up to his first training session, and he expects Hussey’s ability as a playmaker to suit their game plan.

“The guys didn’t know he had signed because it all happened pretty quickly, and as soon as he walked in all the guys went ‘are you kidding me!’ That is awesome, that’s the exact kind of guy we need’,” Petrik said.

“At the end of last season we were first in opposition 2-point and first in 3-point finishing but 13th in looking after the ball, so we needed guys who can make good decisions and Jackson Hussey is a playmaker, which we needed more of.

“He’s a really good height, he’s experienced – went to the AIS, Australian junior teams, college, he’s got an SBL ring – and we need more playmaking and more guidance, which he creates off the bounce. We plan to have a lot more three point shooting this season so we need guys who can get those shooters open. I think Jackson will help us massively.

“He can shoot the three a bit, he can put it on the floor and get his head off the rim…we knew he was good as an opponent but seeing him up close in the flesh we can’t wait to get started with him.”

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