Big influence from big man

Joel Coffey (supplied)

There is a new big man in town for the Sunbury Jets’ Big V championship season.

New Zealand international and seven footer Joel Coffey has made the trip across the Tasman to call the Jets home for 2024.

The versatile centre played college basketball at Florida’s Webber University for the 2019-2020 season.

Since moving to Sunbury with fellow Kiwi Benjamon Robertson, he said he has loved it.

“It’s been an easy move, settling in really well,” he said. “It’s cozy, easy to get in and get to work and focus, super easy.

“It’s been really good to get amongst it. I’ve been itching to get here, really waiting to just get into it.”

Coffey said he had been in communication with the Jets for a while now and since talking to new coach Nathan Heywood, he knew the club was the right place for him

“I’ve been talking to coach Heywood for about two or three months and pretty much from the jump [I knew it would work],” he said.

“He’s really smart and I like his modern approach to the game, and it seems that we are like a family, as in everybody knows each other and everybody is super chill, it’s a super chill atmosphere.

“So it’s just been good to get into it.”

Coffey said Heywood’s philosophies and “modern approach” to the game was a big reason he was so keen to get to the Jets. As Heywood encourages him to use his strengths that many other big men don’t have.

“With how basketball is played now, everybody has to do everything, I really liked that he [Heywood] didn’t want me to just stand around under the ring, he really wanted me to move around,” he said.

“Athleticism, the shooting, getting up and down, playing defence, playing out on the perimeter… really stretch the floor, make things tough for defence as well as get down low and get dirty.”

Coffey has moved in with Robertson and are set to have Canadian import Josh Yorke-Frazer moving in with them soon.

“It’s been good, it’s been just us two in the house so far we’re just waiting for Josh to get in, but it’s been really chill,” he said.

“We’ve been pushing each other, just working out together every day, getting that chemistry going. It’s been really good to have a fellow countryman.

“We want to have a really productive season, win a lot of games and move to the next level ideally.”