He’s played in the American Premier Basketball League and won a high school district and a regional championship in Michigan, but this year Daniel Calcatera will pull on a jersey for the Hawkesbury Jets.
The point guard arrived in Windsor last Wednesday fresh from a visit home to the States.
Calcatera joins the Jets following two years with the Darwin Razzle Storm, and says he has loved his time in Australia.
“I like the hot weather, the people are genuinely nice, and the food is way better here … I just love it out here.” Calcatera said.
After his success at a high school level in Michigan, Calcatera was picked up by Kalamazoo College and University of Michigian Dearborn, before being drafted into the PBL. From there he spent a season in Spain before making his way to Darwin.
Fresh off the plane last Wednesday, Calcatera wasted no time getting back into it, asking his coach Josh Tonkes to take him straight to the gym.
After what was a disappointing season for the Jets last year, Calcatera said he was looking forward to working with the team to improve this season.
“Just take small baby steps, set small short term goals, and hopefully get better day by day,” he said.
As point guard, Calcatera’s job is to organise his team and lead them on the court. He says he hopes his international experience will benefit the side.
“I think my experience gives me a different perspective and hopefully I can use that to help get the guys organised, take a leadership role and do my best to get my teammates into a position to score.”
Jets coach Josh Tonkes said the club was thrilled to have Calcatera on board.
“It’s very exciting to have a player of Danny’s caliber joining us,” Tonkes said.
“The association is excited, the players are excited and we are looking forward to a great year.”
Jets club president Peter Herrmann described Calcatera as a “genuine point guard” and said his credentials speak volumes about the kind of player he is.
“Daniel may be a quiet, unassuming kind of guy, but he has what it takes to control and lead a team on on the court when it counts,” Herrmann said.
“The day he got off the plane he went straight to the gym and threw 150-200 shots – that gives you an idea of his level of commitment.
“We’re very excited to have Daniel on board and I believe he will fit into the side fantastically.”
For now Calcatera has lined up work running basketball skills and workshops with local schools in the area, as well as the Aussie Hoops program, which also works with youth development.
Herrmann said the club is however looking to get Calcatera a car while he’s here and would like to here from any local car dealerships willing work out a sponsorship deal.
The 2018 Waratah League basketball competition starts in March this year, with a run of trials to take place before the start of the usual season, before finals in August.