Warrnambool Seahawks basketballer Jackson Greene is ready for the first game of the Big V season this weekend. He is returning to the Seahawks after a year off.YOU only have to look at last season to realise that Jackson Greene is someone who oozes team mentality.
Nanjing Night Net

The 23-year-old did not play for the Warrnambool Seahawks in 2011 because he was focused on the last year of his teaching degree, but his support for the side was unrivalled.

This season he is returning to the fold, ready to help the Seahawks in their bid to go one better than last year, when they fell at the final hurdle.

“I was down there with the vuvuzela and the Seahawks singlet on,” he said, referring to game three of the grand final series in Geelong.

“As much as it sucked for them to lose, I could see myself in their shoes when we lost to Melbourne Uni in 2010.

“That was only a semi but I was absolutely gutted, so to see all my best friends with that same feeling, it definitely hurt.”

The team, which will be guided again by coach Tim Gainey, is using the loss as motivation for the 2012 season, which starts tomorrow night with an away clash with Melbourne University.

“I think if there’s ever been a time at training where we’ve been training poorly or we’ve dropped our game a little bit, someone — it doesn’t have to be Tim or it doesn’t have to be me — has just mentioned it and we get that fire in our belly again,” Greene said.

“We definitely don’t talk about it all the time but if it needs to be mentioned, it is.”

The Warrnambool College teacher said he often felt like he wanted to be out on the court last season but never seriously considered it.

“Just because my year was very full on,” he said.

“I had eight weeks of teaching rounds at one stage and I was doing stuff all over the state.

“It wouldn’t have been fair on everyone for me to play when I wasn’t training.”

Warrnambool’s 2012 pre-season training has been intense.

“We started pretty much January 1 and that consisted of 5.30am training sessions… as well as training sessions in the evening,” Greene said.

“We want to be fit and quick, so Tim started us early so when it comes to it, we can outrun the opposition.”

Personally, the point guard is raring to get on the court.

“I’ve been running and, being at Warrnambool College, I’ve been coming in at 8am and putting up a few shots before I get into teacher mode for the day,” he said.

The qualities that Greene requires as a teacher are the same ones he will be using on the court.

“I’m a point guard so my role isn’t to score 30 points a game, it’s more about organising my boys,” he said.

“As weird as it sounds, I’m one of the senior players, so I need to be a leader on the court, which I’m quite looking forward to.

“I also want to be shooting well. If I get an open shot, I need to score.”

Greene said while Warrnambool would be aiming to exploit its speed in offence, it was defence that the side was focused on.

“You can play offence all you like but unless you can stop the other team from scoring, you’re not going to win,” he said.

Last year the Seahawks won just one of their opening five games.

“They let the rest of the competition get a head start,” Greene said.

“This year we want to get out of the blocks early and get a few wins on the board and play the type of basketball that we want to play.

“We don’t want to let other teams influence how we run our offence.”

The Seahawks’ first home game of the season is Saturday week, when they take on Mildura.

The Warrnambool Mermaids will open their season next weekend, clashing with the Heat at the Arc.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.