Tigers host ANZAC Day Tribute Game
The Willetton Tigers SBL and WSBL will pay their respects this ANZAC Day by hosting the special round against the Kalamunda Eastern Suns.
The Tigers SBL head coach Steve Black says playing on ANZAC day is a particularly emotional experience.
“I’ve certainly been impacted by the moment of silence while being involved in the game a lot more than I ever have previously,” Black said.
“You’re emotional, fired up and ready to compete, and then you get this moment of clarity and perspective which is different than when you’re observing that moment at any other time.
“I find all of the stuff that we do as part of the day to be pretty special, and I’m very proud that we’re one of the clubs that have taken part in it.”
The day is also moving for the players, who acknowledge how lucky they are to be playing basketball instead of being involved in a war.
Tigers SBL player Daniel Casey says listening to the veteran’s stories is a humbling experience.
“What really hits home for us is listening to the veterans talk and thinking this person was our age or younger when they were off doing these things,” Casey said.
“When you put it in that age perspective it really is quite a harrowing, shocking thought.
“Guys like Mikey Collins and Lachlan Evans are 19-21, kids that I take on a mentoring role for and people that I feel like are my little brothers,
“To think about guys like that who were off in these horrendous situations, it makes it very real.”
Casey says the poignancy of the day is something the players can appreciate together.
“You’re just so grateful on the day that I get to play basketball with my best friends and I’m safe and not afraid of being hurt … we owe a lot of that to our service men and women.” Casey said.
“It’s pretty special for us to be there together as a group of guys that love each other and love the club as much as we do.”
The Tigers are set to pay tribute to the ANZACs with an exciting game against the Suns.
And as the Tigers come off the back of a strong win in Kalgoorlie, Casey says they’re ready for a challenge.
“Kalamunda is always a very tough game… they play an extremely up tempo, exciting brand of basketball,” Casey said.
“A lot of their guys are similar ages to us so we’ve been coming up through the years with them and had some really good battles over the years.
“I’m sure this will be another chapter in a very long list of great games we’ve had against them.”
Head down to Willetton Basketball Stadium on Wednesday to see the Tigers take on the Suns at 3pm in a special ANZAC Day clash. WSBL tip off is at 1pm. There will be a special ANZAC Day Ceremony taking place after the women's game.