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A Timeout With ... Carlisle, Messiah grad Josh Clippinger back home after Tasmanian basketball season cancelled
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A Timeout With ...

A Timeout With ... Carlisle, Messiah grad Josh Clippinger back home after Tasmanian basketball season cancelled

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Josh Clippinger (copy)

Josh Clippinger, son of Carlisle coaches Greg and Cecelia Clippinger, said he will play in Australia from January to August before returning state-side for his wedding.

Josh Clippinger is still invested in playing basketball for the foreseeable future at whatever level he can play at.

The former Carlisle and Messiah player has been sharing his craft with the Australian audience for the past year and a half.

In 2019, he competed in the Premier League in South Australia for the Woodsville Warriors. The team finished that season 8-13, but Clippinger still had a strong showing, averaging 13 points per game and six rebounds. Despite injuries on the team, some for long stretches, the Warriors had four more wins than the previous season.

Clippinger then shifted to the North West Basketball Union in Tasmania, an island state south of Australia, to play for the Ulverstone Red Hoppers for the 2020 season, a team Clippinger said won 2-3 games each of the last few seasons. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic put an end to that with the season being cancelled in March after only nine games. The former Thundering Herd was still putting in good numbers, averaging a double-double (19 points, 11 rebounds).

After returning home to Carlisle a few weeks ago, he responded to a few questions via email from The Sentinel about how things have gone for him so far.

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Q: What things you were hoping to improve upon in your 2020 season, both personally and as a team?

A: Personally, I wanted to improve my stats and come in with more confidence. It also helped on my second go that my obligations were only to the basketball team, whereas [2019] I worked a job on the side. As a team, I hoped to come in and improve a side that had struggled the previous two to three seasons.

Q: How are you keeping in shape with the season postponed? Any spaces where you’re able to practice?

A: I’ve been doing a lot of body weight work and work outside to keep in shape. I’ve been taking time to improve my dribbling by doing so in the driveway or garage. Reading books is also a way I keep mentally sharp. As a competitor on the court you’re always trying to find that edge.

Q: What things have you noticed about the Australian game that differs from any other league?

A: The game in Australia is not so different to America. Going from college to the next level, the things you expect to change do: shot clock is shorter, court is longer, [3-point line] is farther, key is wider, and overall players are better and more experienced. One thing that is different is that for all ages there is a shot clock, the key way is wider, and the [3-pointer] is longer. The trade off is that younger developing players play with a smaller basketball until about middle school or beginning of high school.

Q: What did it take for you to get back home when it was clear the season was cancelled?

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A: Fortunately, the treasurer at the club did a good job at getting me on a reasonable flight. The worst I ran into were some delays. From what I saw on social media, we might have been the last league dismissed on the planet because of our location, meaning we missed the initial hustle to repatriate. That meant once flights were lined up we were well on our way back. We left just in time as Australia was shutting down major airline flights at the end of March and we had left about a week before that deadline.

Q: What do you have planned moving forward?

A: I’m still looking to play hoops, but I would really like to move into playing in Europe or in America at some level. Australia is just much farther away then either of these options, and after this last experience I would rest easier knowing I had 8 to 10 hours to get to my family rather than 24 [hours] to 40 [hours].

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Josh Clippinger is still invested in playing basketball for the foreseeable future at whatever level he can play at.

The former Carlisle and Messiah player has been sharing his craft with the Australian audience for the past year and a half. In 2019, he competed in the Premier League in South Australia for the Woodsville Warriors. The team finished that season at 8-13 but Clippinger still had a strong showing, averaging 13 points per game and six rebounds per game. Despite injuries in the team, the Warriors had four more wins than the previous season showing a strong improvement to the team which could have been better if they hadn’t been missing key players during long stretches of the season.

Clippinger then shifted to the North West Basketball Union in Tasmania, an island state south of Australia, to play for the Ulverstone Red Hoppers for the 2020 season. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic put an end to that with the season being cancelled after only nine games being played. The former Thundering Herd was still putting in good numbers as he averaged over 11 rebounds per game and 19 points per game.

After returning home, he responded to a few questions we had about how things have gone for him so far.

Q: What things you were hoping to improve upon in your 2020 season, both personally and as a team?

A: Personally, I wanted to improve my stats and come in with more confidence. It also helped on my second go that my obligations were only to the basketball team, whereas 2019 I worked a job on the side. As a team, I hoped to come in and improve a side that had struggled the previous two to three seasons. The Red Hoppers had been picking up about 2 to 3 wins each season.

Q: How are you keeping in shape with the season postponed? Any spaces where you’re able to practice?

A: I’ve been doing a lot of body weight work and work outside to keep in shape. I’ve been taking time to improve my dribbling by doing so in the driveway or garage. Reading books is also a way I keep mentally sharp. As a competitor on the court you’re always trying to find that edge.

Q: What things have you noticed about the Australian game that differs from any other league?

A: The game in Australia is not so different to America. Going from college to the next level, the things you expect to change do: shot clock is shorter, court is longer, three point is farther, key is wider, and overall players are better and more experienced. One thing that is different is that for all ages there is a shot clock, the key way is wider, and the three point is longer. The trade off is that younger developing players play with a smaller basketball until about middle school or beginning of high school.

Q: What did it take for you to get back home when it was clear the season was cancelled?

A: Fortunately, the treasurer at the club did a good job at getting me on a reasonable flight. The worst I ran into were some delays. From what I saw on social media, we might have been the last league dismissed on the planet because of our location, meaning we missed the initial hustle to repatriate. That meant once flights were lined up we were well on our way back. We left just in time as Australia was shutting down major airline flights at the end of March and we had left about a week before that deadline

Q: What do you have planned moving forward?

A: I’m still looking to play hoops, but I would really like to move into playing in Europe or in America at some level. Australia is just much farther away then either of these options and after this last experience I would rest easier knowing I had 8 to 10 hours to get to my family rather than 24 hrs to 40 hrs.

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