Taipans rookies steal the limelight
THERE were two occasions where I had to jump in and clear things up for a few spectators and media at the Townsville Entertainment Centre on Friday night.
"Who's that guy," they asked, when Cam Gliddon sunk a three and followed it up with a steal and assist.
"That's Cam Gliddon, he's one of the Taipans' rookies. Pretty solid hey," I would say.
Clint Steindl checked into the game soon after and immediately said hello with a smooth three-pointer from well behind the arc.
"Who's he," those same people again.
"Oh, that's Steindl, another rookie. Not a bad shooter," I informed them.
They nodded and didn't need to ask again.
Both graduates of US colleges last year, the rookie pair have started to turn heads in the NBL.
Twice this season Gliddon has been all over Boomer Peter Crawford and Steindl is shooting the three as good as anyone in the comp.
And their coach Aaron Fearne, glad they are both in Taipans' orange, is not afraid to rub it in.
In fact he has wheeled them out in post-game press conferences more often than their senior teammates
Gliddon has fronted for both their home losses this season and was all class.
And it was Steindl's turn to face the music on Friday night after his 10 points -- including a monster tip-in jam in the third quarter -- helped them to a crucial victory against the Crocs.
Like Gliddon he spoke well and looked comfortable alongside his first boss (Fearne) as he talked the media pack through that massive jam.
"Fearney said it was the number one (moment), but he hasn't seen anything yet," Steindl grinned.
While the slam stole the show, their all-round contribution and general enthusiasm is not lost on Fearne and their growing fan base.
They do all the little things, aren't afraid to put their body on the line and every big play is met with a fist pump.
On the flight home captain Alex Loughton called them a box of chocolates, because you never know what you're going to get with first-year players.
But right now, that box seems full of chocolatey goodness.
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All class: Cameron Gliddon gets around Crocs' Mitch Norton to help guide the Taipans to a crucial win against the home side in Townsville. Picture: WESLEY MONTS