Off court Brent Symons is measured, polite and quietly spoken.
I asked the person who I thought would know Symons best to describe him on court.
“Athletic, committed, loyal, passionate and underrated” friend and teammate Davey Meyer said without hesitation.
Symons has long been a constant on court in local representative basketball, bar a period when he travelled overseas with his now wife, Holly.
He goes about his business, week in week out, and slogs away contributing 110 per cent for the team, and his teammates, that clearly hold a very special place in his heart.
Symons is poised to play his 300th game in local representative senior basketball.
He’s currently sitting one game short, with COVID restrictions stalling the achievement.
It will be a massive achievement when that time comes, but off court Symons has also been busy.
He, and wife Holly, recently welcomed their first child – Emerson.
“I think, like every first time parent, I went through every emotion there is during those nine months,” Symons said.
“However, the second I held Emerson for the first time it was the best feeling in the world.
“Holly did an amazing job and is already an amazing mum.”
It was business that brought the pair back to Mildura after living in the UK from 2017 to 2019.
Their original plan was to move to Adelaide when they returned to Australia, but work not only brought them back here, but reunited Symons with basketball.
“I could never play for another team so if we did move, I would retire,” Symons added.
Symons has his own property development company that he has run for a couple of years.
“I mainly flip old homes and do small developments,” he explained.
“It’s something I have done in my spare time for many years but turned it into a full-time job.
“In my spare time I enjoy spending time with family and friends, travelling, playing golf and just having a beer watching sport.
“As a person I’m pretty relaxed and just enjoy the simple things.”
Symons’ love of basketball started in under 10s.
He can’t remember exactly how but thinks some friends from school invited him to join their team.
He played his first season with Hawks, but then joined Wildcats and has played for them ever since.
“I started playing for the Mildura Junior Mavericks in under 14s,” Symons said.
“I trained a few times with the senior Mavericks team as a 15-year-old but played my first game the following season when I was 16, so I think I have been involved with the representative program for 19 years.”
It’s been a long and successful career for Symons, with the highlights being winning the 2010 and 2012 championships.
As an individual, he said being selected to captain his team on different occasions is something he is very proud of.
“I have been lucky to play with some great imports like Calvin Henry, Jermaine Williams and Kris Clark but my favourite player to play with has been Davey Meyer.
“We have gone through our whole career together and if he misses a game it just doesn’t feel right being on the court without him.
“His passion for the game and loyalty to his teammates is second to none.”
Despite not being “basketball people”, Symons said his parents have always been his biggest influence, and have been of huge support to him – driving him to training and away for tournaments.
“They paid for all my uniforms, registrations and endless doctors appointments,” Symons said.
“Even today they barely miss a game.”
Around the court, Dave Curran and James Madigan have both had an incredible impact on his game – but he has been lucky enough to have a number of great coaches who have all taught him something.
Over the years, Symons has noticed some changes within the game -with “post play” now almost a lost art form.
“Basketball has become a lot more position-less in the last few years and the three-point shot is used a lot more,” he said.
“Growing up being a bigger player I was told to always stay around the ring and was taught how to play and to guard the post.
“Now people my size and bigger bring the ball up and shoot threes.”
While the end might not be too far away for the fan favourite, Symons is hoping whenever it is, he can win a championship and retire a winner.
He admits, though, he will miss playing the sport he loves in front of the crowd he is so fond of.
“I will miss the rush you get when the Hot House is full and loud,” he said.
“I have played in many stadiums and nothing comes close.”