Rocky star calls time on NBL career
BASKETBALL: An emotional Stephen Weigh will step away from professional basketball at season's end - but the Cairns Taipans forward didn't make the announcement until he'd run it past his biggest fans first.
The Rockhampton junior, who became an NBL champion with the Perth Wildcats in 2010, addressed his teammates late last week at practice, urging them with a heartfelt plea to rally and win their final games of the season.
But despite his competitive impulses still luring him back to hardwood, the Snakes vice captain, who has battled a debilitating foot injury this season, said he knew it was time to step away after a recent heart-to-heart with his mum and dad.
"They played devil's advocate as most good parents should,” Weigh, 30, said of telling them of his decision to retire.
"They didn't want me to just jump to a conclusion. But at the same time they've been extremely supportive.
"Mum, in particular, has been a glorified taxi driver for me (as a kid) but in the end they were very happy (with my decision).”
A nasty navicular injury has curtailed Weigh's final season in orange with the much-loved Snake risking more than just his career by continuing to play.
"Due to the nature and position of the bone, at any time it could fracture,” Weigh said.
"At that point, it didn't matter to me because I knew this may be my last season.
"But when (the team doctor) said if it fractures there's a good chance you'll never run again post-basketball, that was a bit of an eye-opener for me.”
Taipans mentor Aaron Fearne paid tribute to the sweet shooting big man, who first caught his eye as a teenager playing representative basketball for North Queensland.