SHAUN Bruce has realised a dream.
The Ballarat Miners co-captain has accepted a full-time roster position with Cairns Taipans for the 2013-14 National Basketball League season.
It is a wish come true for Bruce, who joined Cairns in 2012 as a development player where he won the inaugural Aron Baynes Award for Most Outstanding Athlete.
Bruce played 17 matches for the Taipans last season, and it was during this time that he became convinced he had what it takes to perform in the NBL.
“I’m a little bit surprised but I was pretty confident after the year I had last year that I could play at this level,” Bruce told The Courier.
“It worked that the Taipans had a spot for me.”
While playing for the Taipans, Bruce was involved in undergraduate studies in exercise and sports science with CQUniversity.
The university also provided Bruce with a player scholarship.
Taipans head coach Aaron Fearne told the club’s website that Bruce’s time with the Miners had helped make the decision to sign him an easy one.
“Shaun has had a very good grounding over the past two years and then he came into the academy and worked very hard to get stronger. He was extremely professional,” Fearne told taipans.com.
“As a development player he was always ready to go, always understood our scouting and proved he was capable of playing at the NBL level.”
Bruce said there would be little time to rest before the NBL season, which will start in October.
“I’ve got the next couple of weeks in Ballarat finishing the season with the Miners and then it’s into pre-season straight away with the Taipans and preparing for that first match,” he said.
The Miners’ last home game for the 2013 season is this Saturday when they take on the Hobart Chargers at the Minerdome.
The game tips off at 8pm after the Rush take on the Lady Chargers at 6pm.