Indiana Faithfull joins Bendigo Braves for 2018 SEABL season on a high

Indiana Faithfull is excited to be in Bendigo and is ready to help the Braves back to prominence in the South East Australian Basketball League. Picture: KIERAN ILES
Indiana Faithfull is excited to be in Bendigo and is ready to help the Braves back to prominence in the South East Australian Basketball League. Picture: KIERAN ILES

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INDIANA Faithfull is always looking forward to his next challenge.

No sooner had the door shut on his part-NBL season with Illawarra Hawks, the 27-year-old point guard was thinking ahead to his next assignment with Bendigo Braves.

Faithfull, who signed with the SEABL Braves in January, arrived in Bendigo on Monday night and was anxious to get down to the business of basketball.

“I’m a guy of routine, so I like to get things going and get settled and get to work,” said Faithfull, who’s scheduled to practice with the team for the first time on Tuesday night.

“I’m very excited to be here.

His initial stay will be a short one.

Faithfull will soon marry his partner of 11-years Alex and will spend just two and a half weeks with the team before the wedding.

But not before taking part in a Braves training camp this Saturday and scrimmage against Dandenong Rangers on Sunday.

Faithfull joins the Braves on a high, buoyed by his performances with the Hawks, after being signed as a replacement for the injured Mitch Norton.

He played eight games and averaged two points, 0.8 assists and six minutes of court time.

“It was pretty easy to step in with the Hawks with their culture and come in and focus on what I do best, which is bring the energy and intensity and a defensive mindset,” Faithfull said.

“I think I did that. The season didn’t end like we all would have liked, but that’s how it goes sometimes.”

While he is only new to the Braves, Faithfull feels he already knows plenty about the club and its culture.

His team-mates at Illawarra included 2016 Braves champion guard Kevin White, who this season captained the Hawks, while emerging Braves star Jake Lloyd spent a season with the NBL club as a development player.

Faithfull gleaned plenty more from a pair of matches against the Braves in 2016 while playing for Canberra Gunners.

That included a first-hand account on the strengths and capabilities of his new teammate, 2016 league most valuable player Jeremy Kendle, and his ability to put rival teams to the sword.

“I think he put 30 points up against us, so I am excited to be on the other end of that this time,” he said.

Braves coach Ben Harvey is already licking his lips at the prospect of a teaming Kendle and Faithfull in the back court.

“Indiana is a lefty and they are sometimes very hard to guard,” he said.

“I thought Kevin White was a fantastic player with our club and while it is probably not fair to compare players, I think he has those traits.

“He is a great defender up the floor – I think he is going to fit in perfectly here.

“He is very well-grounded and already has those leadership and maturity qualities we sought in the off-season.”

While the SEABL season might ultimately be a stepping-stone to an NBL recall, Faithfull’s more immediate goal was on team success.

“I want to help contribute and help win a championship,” he said.

“Right now I am focusing on getting the Braves a championship and contributing to the winning culture here in Bendigo.

“I am sure missing the playoffs last year is resonating with the team and I’m sure after the next few weeks we will head into the season pretty fired-up and ready to go.”