Interview with Eamon Wood: “New Zealand is full of talented wheelchair basketball athletes.”

The RBB München Iguanas recently announced that New Zealand native, Eamon Wood would be joining the side for the upcoming season. Wood spoke with Rollt.’s Dylan Cummings to discuss why he chose Germany as the place to develop his game further.


Why did you choose to move to Iguanas?

“This will be my first season in Europe, it was just good timing and the league I wanted to be in. The Iguanas were willing to take this unknown Kiwi (New Zealander) on and I like the intensity of the team and the team style they play.”


How do you intend to fit into the team?

“My role will evolve as the season goes on. I am pretty flexible in my role. I will be filling in the 1-3 spots on the court and hopefully work my way up into point guard roles as that is my strength.”


Why did you choose to Germany and the Iguanas?

“I chose Germany because of the level of basketball and I want to continue to develop with what I have gained off the back of a season in the Australian NWBL.”


What new challenges do you think you will face playing for Iguanas?

“Communication is a big part of my game, I look forward to the challenge of communicating on and off the court, learning how to play with a team that isn’t from the Asia Oceania zone.”


How do you think the styles of play will differ between Iguanas and Thunder?

“This is something that I will learn very quickly I am sure and I’m excited to see what knowledge I can take away from both styles.”


What new things do you think you will learn from playing in the RBBL?

“Playing and training at the highest level consistently is something that is going to take my game to the next level, and I am excited to share what I learn in Germany with the New Zealand basketball scene.”


What are your goals for next season?

“My goal is to continue building, come back to Europe next season and get to the top of my game.”


What’s the wheelchair basketball scene like in New Zealand?

“New Zealand is full of talented wheelchair basketball athletes, with five or six strong regional teams who meet throughout the year to battle it out. We are still working on having the resources and systems in place to have consistent games throughout the year but with players hopefully inspired to move onto the Australian NWBL and then European leagues, the game will keep growing when the knowledge is brought back.”


What could be done to further develop the scene?

“Funding is always an issue with a small population (4.8 million people), which means that most of travel, expenses and other costs are self-funded which means players have to have an extra drive to get to the top level. Having players come to these leagues overseas means we can build skills and exposure, to continue building that path to the ultimate goal of the Paralympics.”


How does German culture differ from New Zealander culture?

“I will let you know when I arrive!”


How would you describe your style of play?

“I would probably say that I have a transitional style of game.”


Has anyone specifically influenced you to play the way you do?

“I gather influence from many players, as there are so many athletes out there with different aspects of talent for different parts of the game – I would have to say as a point guard though, Shaun Norris is someone that I looked to improve my own game since I was a junior.”


What piece of advice has stuck with you throughout your career?

“K.I.S.S – Keep It Simple, Stupid. That was something I was told when I was playing Tennis. Train hard, continue learning new skills – but when it comes to game time K.I.S.S. Keep your head up, read and react.”


If you could do a training session with three other players from anywhere in the world male or female to improve your skills, which players would you choose and why?

“It would have to be Shaun Norris and Steve Serio for their skills as the world’s top point guards and of course Patrick Anderson for his huge knowledge of the game.”


Rollt. would like to thank Eamon Wood for the interview.


Eamon Wood Profile

Date of Birth: 11/02/1989 (aged 30)

Hometown: Christchurch, Canterbury

Started playing: 2005

New Zealand senior debut: 2008

Classification: 2.5

Disability: Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury

Future Club: RBB München Iguanas, GER (starting September 2019)

Former Clubs:

_Canterbury, NZL (2007-2019)

_West Adelaide Thunder, AUS (2019)

Career Highlights:

_Playing for New Zealand at multiple Asia Oceania zone qualifiers.

_Playing in the Australian NWBL last season and competing against some of the best players in the game.


Interview: Dylan Cummings | Photo: Astrid Berger

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