New Melton Thoroughbreds import Chris Johnson didn’t have much time to find his bearings before stepping onto the court.
Arriving last week, Johnson virtually hopped off the plane and onto the practice court ahead of the Thoroughbreds season opener this weekend.
“As soon as I got here, I had a 45 minute nap and then was straight into training,” he said.
“It’s been really good so far, I’m just trying to get my legs back and adjusting to the 17 hour time difference.
“I don’t know a lot about Melton, but Ray [Issac] and my teammates are trying to get me out and show me around.”
Johnson arrives in Melton from San Antonio, Texas.
He studied at the University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals before traveling the world playing basketball.
He was a late starter to the sport, taking it up when he was 13.
He’s spent time in China, Central America and Germany, before playing with South Adelaide in the Premier League competition in South Australia.
It was his time in Adelaide that led to him joining the Thoroughbreds.
“I played in Adelaide back in 2016,” he said.
“I love Australia, but I didn’t get a chance to go to Melbourne, Sydney or anywhere else last time.
“It reminds me a lot about home which is why I came back.
“My old coach in South Adelaide got in touch with [Thoroughbreds coach] Joe [Hooks] and Ray and that is how it all came about.
“It’s a blessing for him [Joe] to let me come back and play for Melton.”
Johnson took to the court on the weekend with the Thoroughbreds as they played in a pre-season tournament in Ballarat.
The Thoroughbreds senior and youth league teams both finished runners-up.
Johnson, who can play any position, said he was likely to play as a guard-forward this season.
“Hopefully I bring everything I can possibly do,” he said.
“I’m open to doing just whatever I need to do to help the club.
“We will just do fine if we can trust each other and are on the same page.”
The Thoroughbreds start their season at home against North East Bushrangers on Saturday night at 8pm. The men’s game follows the women’s game which starts at 6pm.
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