In this first of a series of Sportzfan Interviews, the Professor talks with former College and NBL player, Axel Dench about his career in basketball and as Merumeru in Star Wars 3, Revenge of the Sith. In a career that included a March Madness trip to the Elite Eight with
Gonzaga, a Championship in his first year with Wollongong Hawks plus the 2001 NBL Rookie of the Year award, he believes he peaked early. A shoulder injury hampered his development and he eventually bounced around Europe until returning to Australia to play with the Melbourne Tigers in 2007.
Whilst he enjoyed playing at elite level in basketball, it wasn’t until his taste of Hollywood in Revenge of the Sith that he discovered he had a love for acting and movies. His one regret is that he declined another movie role to accept a three year contract with the Melbourne Tigers only to be released after one year to free up player points.
You can hear the full interview at https://soundcloud.com/sportzprofessor/the-sportzfan-interviews-axel-dench
5 December 2010 182.1 – ‘Hostilities’ start early with Daniel noting that Stan is growing a beard and is dressing like a metrosexual. Guest panelist Axel Dench is welcomed by the Panel and the Professor comments that he thought the Melbourne Tigers, given their recruiting of seven footers, may have called on Axel to fill out the roster. Daniel is on NBL “import” watch and indicates he thinks Eric Devendorf will survive but Craig Winder from the 36ers was wound up. He also confirms LeBron James did the ‘powder clap’ and that the game between the Cavaliers and the Heat was like an NBA finals game.
Mark Fiorenti comes on to talk about the failed Australian bid for the 2022 World Cup. He is shocked that Qatar won and that the Aussies only received one vote in the first round and therefore was eliminated. Mark believes we may have been too honest and not cunning enought to get the required votes. Axel wants to know how Australia could have been so blind sided by how countries would vote. Mark believes we could have been naive and other countries thought getting Australia out early inproved their chamces in latter rounds. The Professor asks just what we could have gotten for our $45 million spent on the failed bid. Australia’s bid video gets unanimously panned by the Panel and Mark says it looked more like a tourism advertisement whilst Daniel says the sports stars we used may be big here but not to the rest of the world. Mark thinks our next bid won’t be until the 2040 World Cup.
The Panel look at a tweet from Lisa Hayes regarding Tom Brady becoming a spokesperson for UGG clothing. We find out that Daniel is a New England Patriots fan. The Professor has Daniel speechless twice in a few minutes saying Tom is the elder brother the Brady Bunch never spoke about. Daniel says the only thing he likes better than basketball is Star Wars and Axel says he gave out more Star Wars autographs than for basketball.
A tweet from Craig Eyles is also discussed regarding the Australian cricket team and the Ashes. Stan says there aren’t enough players playing cricket and not enough care about whether we win the Ashes or not. He says we should sack the selectors and Daniel actually agrees. Axel believes the Aussie fans are front runners and tend to fall off when Australia is not doing well.