Mike Rose set to give Sharks a good shot
The Southland Sharks' United States import Mike Rose knows all about living out of suitcases.
After a stellar collegiate career at Eastern Kentucky University, the 22-year-old shooting guard has spent the past year playing professionally in Turkey, before jumping on a plane and heading to Australia to suit up for the Melbourne Tigers.
Just weeks after the Tigers' season wound up, Rose has again packed up his life for Southland – where he will act as short-term cover for the Sharks until their yet-to-be-confirmed second United States import arrives. From there, it will no doubt be more airports and hotels as he moves on to his next basketball destination – wherever that may be.
Playing basketball for a living is Rose's dream occupation and he wouldn't change it for the world, but admitted globetrotting from one country to the next and being away from his family and friends was tough at times.
"You never know what's going to happen in this business. It's something I've learned," he said.
"You've got to make the best of your time. I've been in away in college, and even in high school I went back and forth, so it's something I'm kind of used to."
Rose said he learned a lot from his experiences in Turkey and Australia and was excited about the chance to represent a new franchise like the Sharks and be part of history in their first match on Saturday night.
"I appreciate the opportunity. Hopefully, I can do some good things and there is a good crowd," he said.
He believed the Sharks had the side to knock over Hawke's Bay in their season opener, but said it was important that they did not let the occasion get the better of them.
"There should be no pressure on us – it's our first game. Our expectation is to get a win, but other than that we should go out there and have fun."
The 1.9m Chicago native will provide the Sharks with a big boost on the shooting end, with Rose known for his scoring and three-point ability in college. In his senior year at Eastern Kentucky, he averaged 20 points a game and was the most accurate three-point college shooter in the country – converting 99 out of his 206 attempts from beyond the arc (48 per cent).
"Everyone knows me as a shooter," Rose said.
"I try to be all-around, but shooting is my strength."
As for where he would like to end up when his Sharks contract expires, Rose said he was not concerned as long as he was playing quality basketball.
"I want to play in the top leagues, which I can get into. That's my goal. I'll take it from there and play hard."
Southland Sharks head coach Richard Dickel tips off his newly weekly column, which will be running every Thursday in The Southland Times during Sharks season.
The Southland Times