By Jessica Robinson
21-year-old, Alex Ducas wasn’t expecting to hit the court as a Boomer at the Melbourne FIBA World Cup Qualifiers last week, however, says his surprise call-up was a moment that he will never forget.
After spending the week getting to know fellow Boomers and cheering them on from the sidelines at the first two games, injuries sidelining Jack McVeigh and Clint Steindl provided Ducas his opportunity to don the green and gold.
“I got the inclination that I might have to be ready to go for the game. I wasn’t sure if I was going to play or not, but I always preach to myself to stay ready in case anything happens,” Ducas told BA Media.
“John Rillie (Assistant Coach) called me down into the team room at lunchtime the day before and he said to be ready to suit up, obviously I was super excited.”
As Ducas’ parents travelled across from WA for the games, his debut came as a perfectly timed family surprise, especially for his dad, Aaron.
“My dad said, ‘are you serious?’ I jumped on the phone to my sisters and my mum shed a few tears, but it was an awesome moment for my family.
“The best part about it for me was that it was my dad’s birthday that same day, so it was a birthday present for him and made my hometown, Geraldton (WA) super proud and super happy. It was a moment I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
View this post on Instagram
Shaking off nerves as he was first subbed in with four seconds on the clock heading into halftime, the guard was happy to take on any role and simply soak up the experience in front of home fans.
“I didn’t expect to go on at all, I was happy to be a part of the team, sit and cheer the guys on, and be involved with the huddle and in the warmup. But to go on and get a feel for it, especially on home soil was even better.”
Now with his debut behind him, Ducas has his eyes locked on his first FIBA Asia Cup as the Boomers prepare to achieve back-to-back titles.
“My biggest attribute is being a shooter, I’m a bigger guard so I can help out on the boards too. One of the main things I try to focus on is bringing a lot of energy to the guys and helping out where I can, whether it’s being the loudest on the bench or getting the water bottles, I’m happy to do anything for the team.
The Boomers FIBA Asia Cup campaign begins tonight (Tuesday) against Jordan, 6pm AEST and is available to watch via ESPN and Kayo Sports.