AN ELUSIVE SEABL milestone is in sight for Bendigo Braves championship star Chris Hogan following the veteran’s decision to play on in 2018.
The 34-year-old will suit up for his 16th season with the Braves after re-thinking his decision to have a 12 month break from basketball.
Hogan, who has played 397 games for the Braves – a club record – credited his wife Kym and coach and long-time friend Ben Harvey in leading him to re-evaluate his decision to skip the 2018 season.
“Funnily enough it was conversations between Kym and Ben about whether they would have me back,” he said.
“Initially my intention was to have a year off and spend more time with family, but given the 2018 season is a bit shorter and I wasn’t overly impressed with what I did personally last season and the team itself – which is a reflection on me – I would like to go back and see if we can make amends and repeat 2016 ideally.
“Fortunately I have a very supportive wife and daughter that have allowed me to do it and supported me through it.
“It is a big commitment but they understand it’s something I love and love doing, so for one more year I am pretty lucky.”
All things being equal, Hogan will play his 400th SEABL game in the Braves third match of the season.
Following an injury-riddled season in 2017, Hogan hopes to recapture the career best form of the Braves 2016 national championship season, in which he averaged 11.2 point per game and five rebounds per game and led the league in three-points percentage.
Like Braves supporters and his coach and teammates, Hogan was eagerly looking forward to the return of star guard Jeremy Kendle, who was the league MVP in Bendigo’s national championship season.
“I’m excited to see what he brings in terms of his more recent experience at the NBL level and in New Zealand,” he said.
“I’m sure he will be a more rounded and leader given how exciting he was prior to that.
“That will be exciting form Bendigo as a whole to have someone of his character coming back into our program.”
A co-captain alongside retired teammate Taylor Bell in 2016 and 17, Hogan will continue in a leadership role.
The veteran forward said he had complete faith in coach Harvey to assemble a quality team, with announcements on a second import and domestic point guard to come in January.
“It’s not the same as 2016, but there are certainly some characteristics and traits that share some similarities with 2016,” he said.
“Hopefully all we have to do is emulate that on the court.”
Hogan has played 16 total seasons, with his 2006 campaign spent with Melbourne Tigers.
His SEABL career to date has included 397 games (equal fifth all-time); 25 finals (equal fifth all-time); 1374 rebounds (426 offensive); 397 assists; and 107 steals.