NBL | Mason Bragg reflects on his whirlwind debut season with the Perth Wildcats

BY CAMERSON SLESSOR (@camronslessor) THE ADVOCATE  Mason Bragg said his focus for 2017 was to show the Perth Wildcats his impressive debut season in the NBL wasn’t a fluke.

The Burnie product joined the Wildcats in November last year in what was supposed to be a two week trial. 

The club were so impressed with his impact that he was offered a two year contract as an NBL development player. 

He was lucky enough to play a handful of NBL games for the Wildcats at the back end of the season and even suited up for the side in their championship winning game against the Illawarra Hawks. 

Bragg returned home briefly this week to visit family and friends during the off-season before heading back to Perth to suit up for the East Perth Eagles in the SBL. 

Bragg said returning to Burnie gave him a chance to reflect on his achievements with his loved ones. 

“It’s definitely been a good time to reflect back on things once you get out of the Perth lifestyle,” Bragg said. 

“It was just a good time to reflect back on the amazing year and how lucky I am and how fortunate I am to win an NBL championship.”

The former Tall Timbers North-West Thunder captain had the chance to watch his old side play last week and said it was a strange feeling. 

“The most annoying part was having to park so far away when I got there, I’m used to being able to park right next to the door.

“I think it was five years I had with the Thunder so it was quite weird sitting in the stands.

“I would have loved to be sitting on the bench or be out on the court but I think looking at the guys they had, they are in good hands.”

Bragg said he had already learnt a lot during his time with the Wildcats and had aims to prove himself once again next season. 

“I think I learnt just how to read the game differently and I had a lot of time to sit there on the bench and at training and take in a lot from the players.

“Especially from guys like Damian Martin and Shawn Redhage, guys who I’ve looked up too. 

“I think the biggest aim for me is to show that last season wasn’t a fluke and I can come out and do that on a consistent basis.

“I’ve still got a lot to learn but I’m only going to do that through playing and taking risks and making the most of it when I’m out there.”

Bragg travelled back to Perth on Wednesday and will suit up for his first State League game on Friday. 

He said he would now focus on improving his game and working with the coaches available and also try to build his brand as a player in Perth. 

The former Coastal star said after reflecting on the season he was still pinching himself at the opportunity he had received in the NBL. 

“I was only meant to go over there for two weeks and then it turned out to be a two year deal. 

“When I got there it was definitely a crisis time for them with imports changing and injuries and even when I was there we weren’t winning a lot of games.

“It was really that New Years game against Illawarra, we won that and then Bryce [Cotton] came back and things started to turn around.

“But the whole time there was never a negative feeling, it was always positive and things just fell into place.

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