Walker Confident Stateside Can Thrive Without Froling

Stateside Sports have been the most dominant team in this year’s NBL 3×3 Pro Hustle tour, winning it all in Geelong while coming second in Melbourne.

A big part of their success has been the form of NBL Rookie of the Year Harry Froling, whose big body and crafty skillset has translated seamlessly to the 3×3 format.

However, Stateside Sports will be without the services of Froling in this weekend’s Darwin 3×3 Pro Hustle, as he commences NBA draft workouts in America.

Despite the absence of Froling, teammate Lucas Walker remains buoyant the trio of himself, Jeremy Kendle and Peter Crawford – and potentially a fourth player – will still be able to defend their crown this weekend.

“We are going into Darwin expecting to finish first again,” Walker said.

“We aren’t sure if we are going to bring a fourth guy in or if we are just going to go with the three of us.

“We back ourselves. Harry is a massive piece and was a massive part of why we have done so well but the three of us are still really good.

“I think we have got everything covered that we need covered without Harry. Jeremy Kendle creates so much for us, PC shoots and I can kind of do everything else.

“I think we are pretty well spread across what we need.”

With the win in Geelong, Stateside Sports have already qualified for the FIBA 3×3 Penang Challenger in May, as they aim to make the FIBA World Tour.

A win in Darwin would see Stateside be named Pro Tour champions and qualify for the Ulaanbaatar Challenger and Chengdu Masters, with both events taking place in June.

The 2019 3×3 Pro Hustle has been Walker’s first venture into the shortened version of basketball, and he believes the extra physicality has suited his style of play.

“It’s probably the physicality that’s the biggest adjustment,” he said.

“I came in and played my first NBL1 game for Nunawading last Friday and then played a 3×3 game on Saturday morning and it took me two or three games to adjust and realise you can be a lot more physical.

“It’s switching that mindset from team basketball to 3×3 basketball that’s probably the biggest adjustment. I think the 3×3 stuff will be good for incorporating stuff into the team game.

“For me it’s good because I can rebound and set screens and do a lot of that stuff with a lot more physicality than what I can in the team game.”

The third and final NBL 3×3 Pro Hustle event of the year takes place this weekend in Darwin, as part of the Arafura Games. Tickets are available here.

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