The end of an era
“IT’S been a fantastic journey and I wouldn’t change anything.”
Port City Power’s prodigal son has thrown his last hoop for the team, but he’s scored a lifetime of memories during his colourful career.
Aaron Nagas, who has captained the Power since the 2006-7 season, has retired from the game he’s loved since he was old enough to bounce a basketball.
“One of our mates was coaching but everyone else was fresh as a daisy, so from that to what we have now is pretty amazing,” Nagas said.
“I love the team aspect, playing with my mates, and I’ve been hooked since I can remember.”
The first game in 2004 remains vivid in his mind and a real indicator of how Port City Power fans have embraced the team.
“There were about 100 people here, the uniforms were a bit dodgy and we got beaten by about 50 points,” he smiled.
“It was a tough few years at the start, but now we’re going along great, the program’s going well and we’re about to host out first finals series.”
The Lions Basketball Club was where it all began for Nagas, and at age five he was champing at the bit to get on court.
“I wanted to start earlier, but Mum wouldn’t let me,” he said.
“I was always the shortie on the team for photos and in Year 12 I grew about six inches.”
Nagas, who shot up to 6’2”, took a break from the game due to university studies but it didn’t quell his appetite for the sport.
His game for the Power evolved over the seasons and the extrovert soon had the crowd cheering, and the opposition rubbed up the wrong way, much to his pleasure.
“I changed my game and became a bit rougher,” he said.
“That’s what I brought as part of my skill set to the team; I wasn’t going to back down from anyone, no matter how big they were, I was going to get in there and give it a go.”
In 2005-6 the Power made the semi-finals in the Southern Cross league and was one of the more memorable seasons.
“That was a great year win-wise, we turned this place (Kev Broome Stadium) into the Powerhouse and didn’t lose a game here,” he said.
The Power’s home-town favourite said the passionate support the team has received over the years hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“There’s been a lot of different faces, and lot of loud faces,” he said.
“You go to other places and Gladstone just makes them look silly.”
His three biggest fans – mum Debbie, partner Melody Arnold and daughter Lili – have been a huge support, Nagas said, but he is looking forward to the next chapter of his life, moving to Maroochydore.
Bigger praise could not have come from Port City Power coach Blair Smith about his former captain and club mainstay.
“He’s irreplaceable, for me he’s the guy who’s done everything,” Smith said.
“He’s the leader, he inspires everybody and brings them together.
“Everyone knows Nagas around town and there’s going to be big hole without him next year.”