TALL ORDER

IMPORT: At six foot seven inches (2m) tall Robert Nortmann adds some height to the Mustangs in 2013.

Robert Nortmann might have been a late starter in basketball but at six foot seven inches in the old scale he was a perfect match for the sport. 

The athletic 25-year-old picked up the basketball in 2003 and a decade on the Bahamas-born national has landed in Maitland via Canada.

Nortmann will line up for the Mustangs in the 2013 Waratah Championship League, which begins on March 16, after five years playing for Dalhousie University in the Atlantic University Sport championships titles and he said height wasn’t an issue for him.

“In Canada there were a few guys that were taller than me but in Maitland I’m one of the tallest guys on the team,” Nortmann said.

“It’s funny because I started playing basketball after I had a growth spurt – I was pretty late compared to most kids and I was around 15 when I picked it up.

“I’ve been going hard at it ever since.”

Nortmann said the quick nature of the sport matches his personality and he wants to bring that to the Mustangs.

“I’m a high-energy guy and it’s a face-paced game, which suits me down to the ground,” he said. “I can’t wait to get out there and start playing.”

Nortmann had his first hit-out in Mustangs colours on Thursday night with a pre-season game against Newcastle at Maitland Federation Centre.

The Mustangs went down to the Hunters but the court time gave Nortmann the chance to work on combinations with key players in the squad, including fellow overseas player and last year’s state MVP Mitch Rueter.

JJ O’Brien remains from last year’s squad and former coach Luke Boyle will return to play while youth league members such as Sam Huggins will look to step up to the top grade.

But in 2013 the Mustangs will be without co-captains Josh Clifford (injury) and Andy Allen (MasterChef winner) as well as former NBL player Kieran Gleeson (retired), Matt Dick (GAP year) and King Cannon (return to US).




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