After a year off NBL basketball in 2020, Invercargill’s Connor Coll is jumping out of his skin for the return of the SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks next month.
That’s not surprising after last year’s COVID-impacted season, but in Coll’s case he also added insult or injury or, more accurately, injury to an already frustrating season.
“I picked up an injury breaking my wrist so I have been rehabbing since early August. I went up for a dunk attempt and landed a bit awkwardly, actually I didn’t really land at all. I put my arms down to break my fall and broke a little bone in my wrist and was out of action for a while. But I’m good to go now and looking forward to getting back out there,” Coll said.
The 1.98-metre 23 year old has had his share of injuries, testament to his willingness to put his body on the line when he is out on court. Fully fit again, Coll is excited by some of the new talent he will line up alongside for his fourth Sharks’ season.
“Every season provides a new opportunity, new players and the chance to meet and play with new people. I think fresh talent is good. We’ve just got to put it together out on court. As soon as guys like Toby (Gillooly), Brayden (Inger) and Johnny (Helu) get down here we can start putting it together and get to work,” he said.
Like all of his Sharks’ teammates, the chance to play under Head Coach Rob Beveridge is making 2021 preparations even more intense with Coach Bevo just as keen to work with young talent like Coll.
“It is always great to re-sign a local product like Connor Coll for this season. Connor continues to improve every year and I look forward to helping him continue to develop as a player. Connor has been around for a few years now with Southland and I look forward to seeing him grab this opportunity and show what he can do,” Beveridge said.
The SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks open the season on the road in Nelson on Monday 26 April with its first home game at ILT Stadium Southland against the Taranaki Mountainairs on Thursday 29 April at 7:30pm.
Pictured: Coll (wearing white) heads to the basket during last year's SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks Summer league