Former basketballer Zac Clarke keeps a close eye on the NBA  -  a league he once dreamed of playing in.
Clarke played ‘hoops’ from the age of five, right up until being drafted by Freo when he was 18.
He grew up competing in the Victorian state league and played in the youth state championships.
“Draft year I was playing three or four times a week,” he said.
“I gave it up when I came West.”
A number of former basketballers have translated their athletic prowess to the football field,including Collingwood star Scott Pendlebury.
Clarke said many of the skills acquired on the court remained with basketballers in the AFL.
“They have that spatial awareness, a bit of time in congestion and composure,” he said.
“Hand-eye coordination as well. That definitely helps.”
The 203cm ruckman does not support a specific team in the NBA, he is a fan of league great Kevin Garnett.
“I followed him from Minnesota to Boston and now Brooklyn, so I follow Brooklyn at the moment,” Clarke said.
A team Clarke supported recently however was the NBA Championship winning San Antonio Spurs, for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the team contained two Australians – Patty Mills and Aron Baynes. Mills was a significant factor in the Spurrs 4-1 series win over LeBron James’ Miami Heat.
“It was great to see Patty Mills and Aron Baynes, two Aussies, get the win,” Clarke said.
“It was great for the country and great for the sport of basketball.”
But Clarke admits he was also happy to see Miami and its famed ‘big three’ go down after a number of Freo teammates had jumped on the bandwagon.
“There are quite a few new additions over the past couple of years,” Clarke said.
Matt de Boer, Danyle Pearce, Michael Johnson and Stephen Hill all have pretty fresh Miami outfits.”
And as for Clarke’s tip for the 2014/15 NBA Championship and League MVP?
“I’m going to tip the Spurs again. I reckon they will go back to back. MVP – Tony Parker.”