Star Lion makes hoops move
March 14, 2023 / 7:24 pm
LIAM Herbert hasn’t ruled out playing some part in Leopold’s 2023 GFNL campaign despite switching to semi-professional basketball.
The 22-year-old, an Australian underage representative, signed with NBL1 South club Geelong United Supercats last week after impressing at a training session in late February.
However, the Warrnambool product says the door remains open for him to pull on a Lions jumper with the Supercats’ season finishing in mid-August if they were to make a deep playoff run.
“If I can get a few games in and sneak into finals qualification, I will do that,” Herbert said.
“Buddha (Leopold coach Garry Hocking) has said that if I can get to a few training sessions, he’d be happy with me to do that.
“I’m definitely focused on basketball, and I’ll be putting all my energy into that.
“But, if it can happen, it will happen.”
Herbert last played basketball at a serious level in 2018 when he was part of the Australian under-18 team that won the Asia Cup in China.
However, he concentrated on football and played the 2019 season at Talent League level with GWV Rebels and earned Vic Country selection.
Herbert was on Geelong’s VFL list in 2022 and made four appearances with the Cats.
He returned to basketball over the summer in a social team alongside his brother Marcus and several friends.
“I was playing not too bad, so I hit up a mate (Supercat Jack Terrill) I played a bit of Vic Country with,” Herbert said.
“I asked if I could go down to training and get a scrimmage in, and he said to go to NBL1 training.
“I went along one night and happened to be in the right spot at the right time – their import point guard fell through.”
Herbert stewed over his decision but said it was an opportunity too good to pass up and that Hocking and his Leopold teammates couldn’t be more supportive of his move.
“Buddha and all of Leopold were unbelievable,” he said
“I was pretty nervous going down to talk to him and let him know I wasn’t going to be around as much as he would like, and I would like as well.
“He was so good about it. And I spoke to all the leaders, and they were just so supportive and just stoked for me, which goes to show the culture we’ve got out at Leopold.”
Liam Herbert in action for Leopold in last year’s GFNL grand final loss to St Mary’s. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)
Liam Herbert in action for Australia at the under-18 Asia Cup in 2018.