The Luina Geelong Supercats will take to the court this Friday night in a specially designed singlet that represents the clubs 40 year history. The singlet features the names of the 248 players and Head Coaches in the clubs 40 year history, both men’s and women’s; it also features the images of four of the clubs greatest players.
Nathan Herbert, who will retire at seasons end and Cal Bruton and NBL Hall of Famer represent the men’s side of the club, while injured Australian Opal, Sara Blicavs and 2011 SEABL MVP Deanna Smith represent the women’s teams. The four players to have their images includes on the singlet were selected by CEO Dean Anglin and a group of advisors to represent both the NBL and SEABL eras of the club.
“Proud to be highlighted on the 40th year Anniversary Singlet, launched by the Geelong Supercats” Cal Bruton said on a post on social media, “It’s an honour to be recognized with so many great players on their team lists, particularly with the point guards that played at the club.” Bruton also paid tribute to some of the great from his time “Shout Out to Dane Suttle, Bobby Locke, Everett Stephens, Joey Wright Shane Heal, Brian Banks, Greg Giddings and Aubrey Sherrod to name a few who were all outstanding ballers for Geelong”
Bruton joined Geelong in 1982 as a playing coach winning the NBL Coach of the Year in his first season. During his time with the Geelong, Bruton was also named to the All NBL First Team in 1983 and 1984and led the team to the 1982 NBL Grand Final where they were defeated 80–74 by the West Adelaide Bearcats. In the clubs 15 seasons of NBL competition from 1982–1996, this was the only NBL Grand Final appearance.
For current day player Nathan Herbert, the club has been part of his life for much longer, “The Supercats has been like a second family for the past 17yrs. Even longer when I count back the years I spent with Dad involved. I have made some lifelong friends along the way and I’m really proud of the culture that we have been able to create with a close core group of players over my time. The club has such an amazing history and it’s something that needs to be celebrated at every opportunity.” Herbert may play his final SEABL game at the Geelong Arena on Friday night, with the venue unavailable for the first round of the finals, the Supercats will need to play from AWA Alliance Bank Stadium if the club finishes 5th after this weekend’s final round.
Having made the move into SEABL in 2011, the women’s program made an immediate impact, led by 2011 SEABL MVP Deanna Smith, “I am honoured to be selected to represent the Geelong Supercats for heritage round. It is a club that I hold dear to my heart and have many fond memories not only of my team mates, but the style of basketball that we played and what we achieved in the first years of the women playing in SEABL. The people are who make the club and I am grateful for the amazing friends that I have made and the support that I received from being a part of the Geelong Supercats family. The Supercats have a long standing and successful history that I am proud to have been a part of and I value being recognised as someone who has contributed to this.” Smith told the Supercats. The team has continued its success on the women’s side of the competition, finally breaking through for its maiden Championship in 2017 led by Australian Opal Sara Blicavs, when told of her inclusion on the singlet Blicavs said “I never would have thought that my photo would end up on an actual playing jersey! One, because I didn’t know you could do that, but two, because for me, I’m still that young girl shooting hoops in my backyard still looking up to my role models. I feel super privileged and humbled to be a part of this and with the calibre of amazing players who I get to be next too.” She went on to say “This club is truly the most amazing club I’ve ever been a part of and I honestly feel so proud to tell people I play with the Geelong Supercats”. Blicavs is in the final stages of her recovery from an ACL injury suffered in the WNBL last season and will be back on-court with the Dandenong Rangers later this year. She will again chase her dream of playing in the WNBA next season, but if but she needs another season to build strength in her knee the club is confident we will see Sara in a Supercats singlet again next year. “Also, it’s nice I will get to be out there with the girls again ?” she joked.
The 40 Years Singlets will be auctioned online between Friday night’s game and the clubs 40th Anniversary Dinner on August 24th.
Luina Geelong Supercats vs Canberra Gunners
Friday 20th July 2018
Tip off Women’s 6pm, Men’s 8pm
Geelong Arena Show Court
40th Anniversary Dinner
Friday 24th August 2018
Sphinx Hotel, Nth Geelong