Tag Archives: movies

We spoke with former NBL player and Star Wars actor, Axel Dench.

In part one of the podcast, Axel Dench spoke with the Professor about how he started his basketball career, being a member of the 1999 Gonzaga college basketball team that made the ‘Elite Eight’ at the NCAA championships, being selected as rookie of the year in the NBL in 2001 and he was a member of the Illawarra Hawks that were NBL champions in the same year. Perhaps he is better known as Wookie chieftain, Merumeru in the Star Wars movie, Revenge of the Sith.

In part two of the discussion with Axel, we talk about how he got his role of Merumeru in Star Wars and the sliding doors moment when he had to make the choice between basketball and a career on the silver screen.

The first of the Sportzfan Interviews – Axel Dench

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