Eight make up Cobar’s Greatest Men’s Basketball Team

Three players from the 1998 Open Men’s Wild West basketball team, Ben Taylor (No 8 at rear), Chris Gilbert and Murray Robotham (bottom row, second and third from left)
feature in Rob Josephson’s Cobar’s Greatest Men’s Basketball Team.

Continuing with the theme of locals picking Cobar’s Greatest Sporting Teams, we asked local basketballer Rob Josephson to pick a men’s basketball team for us.

In his time in basketball, Rob has not only played with the best but he’s coached them also.

Many of these players have reunited over the past few years to play at Masters competitions.

His Greatest Team comes from basketballers Rob played with in representative teams and players he played against in the men’s competition in mid to late 1990s when the sport was big in Cobar.

Each player is over six feet tall so they are a formidable side.

Rob put himself in the team as their No 1, the Point Guard.

Point Guards are considered to be the best handlers on the team.

In his basketball career, Rob played a combination Point Guard/Power Forward role.

He was an inside out playmaker. He liked to play back in defence, rebound and bring the ball up the court to drive to the basket or find an open team mate.

Rob was known for his long range shooting ability, flashy passes and for also having a short fuse.

Playing Shooting Guard or No 2 in Cobar’s Greatest Team, is Murray Robotham who, while younger than most of his team mates, went on to become one of Cobar’s strongest players.

“Muz was the easiest pick to make for this team as he had perfect shooting form. He never met a shot he would not take but made plenty of them,” Rob said.

Murray learnt to shoot on an old netball hoop welded to a post in his backyard.

“I’m sure it made a basketball hoop look like an ocean because everything was a ‘swish’ from Muz.

“He was absolutely deadly pulling up at the elbow.”

Ben Taylor was Rob’s pick for the Small Forward No 3 position.

Small Forwards are quick and the most versatile players on the team.

“Ben Taylor was the ultimate team mate, the Joe Ingles of Cobar basketball,” Rob said.

“If you were watching a game you may not even know Ben is playing but if you were in the game, be he either with you or against you, you knew he was playing.

“No matter what you needed whether a steal, a three-pointer or a charge, Ben would provide it and make the right play.”

In the Power Forward No 4 position, Rob has selected Rob Gillett, his running mate from early years with his long flowing hair.

“Rob was a sweet shooting stretch forward who could rebound, block shots and pass with the best of them and always had fun on the court,” Rob recalls.

In the Centre, Rob selected Chris Yates, his all-time favourite team mate. The Centre or pivot is usually the team’s tallest player who uses his physique and skills in close to the basket to shoot and rebound.

Chris was first and foremost a rebounder and defender. “He didn’t care about scoring, possibly because he could actually see the hoop eye to eye. He could jump out of the gym and there wasn’t nothing better than watching Yatesy catch a lob for a dunk.”

On Rob’s bench are: Jarrod Marsden, a reliable defender and rebounder, who was a great team mate and “played much like Yatesy minus the vertical leap”; Gerard Francisco was a great wing player who could score inside and out and had the ability to turn a game around as he did in the 1993 grand final; and Chris Gilbert who was a great communicator and ball handler and “a player I would have like to play more with than against”.