Jawai happy to be on court with old Cairns friends
HE may be super-sized, but it's the small pleasures in life that Nathan Jawai enjoys the most.
Like getting the chance tonight to play with his best mates on the court where it all began.
It is an opportunity that has helped wipe aside the disappointment of missing Olympic selection and the Bamaga product hopes to put on a show in front of his family and friends for the Cairns Marlins.
The 208cm man mountain last played for them in 2007 alongside current members Kerry Williams, James Comino, Dwayne Vale and Aaron Grabau.
They lost just one game on the way to the state and national title.
Since then Jawai has won the NBL rookie of the year, played in the NBA for two clubs, dominated the Euroleague and represented Australia.
Now off contract with Russian side Unics Kazan and not in the Olympic squad, Jawai has at least two months to catch up with his Cairns mates and play a bit of basketball.
"It was something I was thinking about when I became a free agent," he said.
"I haven’t played with them for a while. It’ll be fun, I’m pumped for it and, yeah, I’m disappointed I’m not playing at the Olympics, but I get to play with these boys instead."
Having opted to attend an NBA camp instead of an initial Boomers’ camp, Jawai was aware of what he was doing to his London chances.
"I knew I wouldn’t make it. I wasn’t there (in Boomers camp) the last two years. I’m not worried, I’m still young. Maybe next Olympics, who knows,’’ he said. The Marlins play Gladstone at 8pm, while the Dolphins tip off at 6pm at what is expected to be a capacity Bendigo Bank Basketball Stadium.
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Glad to be back: Former NBA player Nathan Jawai is happy to be playing with his old mates at the Marlins again. Picture: Stewart McLean