HAVING heard good things about the club from his brother, new recruit Josh Garlepp jumped at the opportunity to join the Bendigo Bank Braves.
The 201cm Garlepp is the younger brother of reigning Braves’ MVP Tom Garlepp and arrived in Bendigo this week as the club continues its preparations for the 2013 South East Australian Basketball League season.
“The club has been really welcoming and looks to have a great support network,” Garlepp said yesterday.
“There was an opening in the squad and Tom suggested I look at it because he had a great time last year.
“He has told me it’s very professional, as close to an NBL-calibre organisation that you could get, that the club really looks after you and they are a great bunch of guys as well, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Garlepp, who turned 24 yesterday, has played the past five seasons with Perry Lakes in the WA State Basketball League, while he has also been in the development squad of WNBL club Perth Wildcats.
“I feel I’m coming here quite fit and in the best shape I’ve been in after doing the development squad work with the Wildcats,” Garlepp said.
“Hopefully, until Tom gets here (following the Sydney Kings’ NBL season) and if I train well, I might be able to get a starting role, otherwise I’ll come off the bench and try to help as much as I can.
“I feel I can score fairly well and play some defence, but there’s a lot of talent here, so you’ve got to work hard to get any time on court.”
Braves’ fans can expect Garlepp to play a physical brand of basketball when he’s on court.
“I’ve always been a lot thinner than most of the guys I play against, so it means I have to tough it out a fair bit and play aggressively,” he said.
“And I’m not the best jumper, so I’ve got to work hard to get rebounds.”
Braves coach Ben Harvey has described Garlepp as a player who “is a good shot blocker, runs the lanes quick for a big guy and has got some good post moves”.
Garlepp arrived in Bendigo just over a month out from the Braves’ first game of the season against Knox on March 15.