Developed in the backyard basketball games in country Victoria or in Sippy Downs, the Tueta brothers – Josh and Isaih – bring a competitive spirit that has fuelled the Rip City men’s basketball team for the past four years.
“Backyard basketball was what we lived for," Josh said. “It used to get very competitive too, so I think it helped shape my competitive spirit in a way.”
The heart and soul of the USC men’s team, with Josh in the frontcourt and Isaih (better known as Izzy) in the backcourt, will return for their fifth season under the lights at USC Stadium as they get set to tip off the inaugural NBL1 North season.
The Tueta brothers join Brisbane Bullets star Tanner Krebs and returning USC power forward Eric McAlister as the team’s official signings with coach Nathan Arousi to mak
e more announcements in the lead up to the May 13 season opener.
“Talking with coach it sounds like we are going to have a really strong squad for this year,” Izzy said. “I’m really excited to team up with Eric again, he fits in perfectly with the way we like to play. We have good chemistry and will look to build on that.
“Tanner Krebs is a massive pick up for the club. He is a true professional the way he plays both offensively and defensively. He will add scoring power and add to our defensive versatility.”
After a disappointing season last year which saw Josh (broken right foot) and Izzy (broken toe) on the sidelines with injuries, the team is looking to bounce back and make a playoff run like the last time the Tueta brothers teamed up with McAlister in 2018.
“This year I’m really looking forward to playing alongside some of our new signings,” Josh said. “Tanner is a big one for us, a really skilled guy who plays hard on both ends of the floor and is really a cut above most guys in our league.
“Eric is another guy I can’t wait to play with again. Last time we wore a Rip City jersey together it was a lot of fun and we were pretty successful, no doubt we’re looking to improve on that for this season ahead.”
The Tueta brothers, both with NBL experience and forming an integral part of Rip City’s leadership, agree that many positives were taken from last year’s covid-19 interrupted season for the squad including the opportunity to mentor the younger players from the bench during their stints out with injury.
“I was honestly really happy they were able to get the season running throughout covid,” Izzy said. “Before that we had just expected the season to be cancelled. So it was awesome to hear we were going to get a chance to play.
“It was a great chance for our younger up-and-coming Rip City guys to play some serious minutes and get game tim
e experience. I think the whole squad will benefit from that this year.”
USC's NBL1 season starts with the local derby against Phoenix at USC Stadium on Thursday, May 13. The finals will be played in August-September after a 14-round regular season.
For sponsor information contact USC Basketball President Matt Nason on 0407 708 737.
For media enquiries contact Greg Dawkins on 0420 988 115.