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NBL TAKE 40: LUCAS WALKER

His Mum calls him Lucas. Lucas Walker. To everyone else, he`s Waxy.
NBL | 10/02/2014 - 09:40h
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His Mum calls him Lucas. Lucas Walker. To everyone else, he`s Waxy.

`One of my mates gave me that nickname back in high school. And you know what, I don`t know why,` he said.

`That was about grade 10 and then I just started introducing myself to people as Waxy and it caught on. My Mum is the only person now who calls me Lucas.`

`That`s about it really. You`d think there would be a funny story or something to go with it but there`s not. That`s just how it is.`

And therein lies an opening to the likeable larrikin that is Waxy Walker. Carefree and quick-witted. Fun to be around. There`s a hint of rockstar in the way he goes about his basketball. Up-tempo. Entertaining. And nothing gets left in the green room.

`Imagine that. 100% that would be the best job in the world. I`ve said that about a thousand times I reckon. How awesome would it be to be a rockstar,` he said.

Not that he`s giving up just yet. Basketball first. Music a very close second.

`I play a bit of guitar. I taught myself when I was at College,` he said.

He`s got three sitting at home. Two acoustics. An electric one too.

`I just listen to all types of music and see if I can play those songs. I`ve got all the stations programmed in my car so I flick through them and listen to songs.`

`I had a few lessons back when I was about 14 and then I put the guitar down and didn`t do anything for a few years. Then I picked it up again when I was away and have been playing ever since.`

There`s been a gig too. Nothing huge, but no doubt memorable for the hundreds of Tigers fans in the crowd that evening.

`Patty Mills and I played a song together at the Tigers fundraising auction a few years ago,` he said.

`We did ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow`. We chose that because we learnt to harmonise some of the lyrics. We practiced for a few weeks too although I`m not sure that helped. I was so nervous. I tell you, as soon as I was done I couldn`t get off that stage quick enough.`

`I would have been better if we didn`t have to sing. If it was just playing guitar I reckon I could belt out songs every night of the week but the singing adds a whole different element to it.`

Unfortunately, there have been far too many opportunities to explore those musical aspirations in a season that has been punctuated by injury.

He`s battled osteitis pubis and an Achilles injury that has restricted his time on court. There was a broken rib following a collision with Adelaide captain Adam Gibson earlier this season as well.

`We kept that one quiet. But it`s just been one of those years. I`m just trying to get this leg right now so I can get back out there. Shouldn`t be too long now,` he said.

That hasn`t kept him off the golf course though. Walker is a regular on the fairways with his housemate Nate Tomlinson and their Tigers teammate Chris Goulding.

`Bubbles (Goulding) is pretty good. He plays the most. Actually he`s probably out there having a hit on his own right now,` Walker said.

`I`m pretty sure everyone who has ever played golf knows it can be very frustrating. But it`s something to do and because we`re not that great at it there is plenty of opportunity to do better than last time.`

`I`m like that. I like to challenge myself all the time. I`m pretty competitive with myself. Say I shot a 48 last time, I want to go round in 46 the next time. That`s just how I am.`

`I`ve always had people telling me I`m my own worst enemy. I`m way to competitive with myself.`

And although that shows when he steps onto the basketball court, he`s adamant the 2013/14 version of himself is far different to years gone by.

`I`d say I`m energetic. Yep, in a word, energetic. There was a time when I always wanted to be the best player on the court. The best shooter. The best passer. The best ball handler,` he said.

`Then someone said to me just go out and do what you do to the best of your ability. Be good at that.`

`So I have made an effort to focus on being a really good rebounder. To be a really hard worker on the court. Yes I can still be a good shooter. I can still be a good passer. But I don`t have to be the best. That is someone else`s role and when everyone is playing their own role well, that makes for a good team.`

It`s the new Waxy. In musical terms, the sophomore album. And the Tigers love his new stuff better than his old stuff. Less solo act. More about the band.

Every artist evolves. Even basketballers named Waxy.

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