Thursday, June 9, 2016

Mason Cox

The past week's matches saw North Melbourne get past Richmond, getting the league-leading Roos back in the win column and ending Richmond's three-match winning streak. Collingwood started out well in the first five minutes in their match with Port Adelaide, but the Power took control as things progressed, especially in the second half. Here is the ladder after 11 rounds:

One nice story about Collingwood actually comes from the states. Mason Cox was a member of some good Flower Mound Marcus (Texas) soccer teams that won consecutive state titles. He was already 6'5" then he grew six more inches. But he didn't play basketball for the Marauders. 

One day he was just playing around on the basketball floor at Oklahoma State when he caught the attention of a member of the OSU women's basketball staff. Next thing he knew, he was "Brittney Griner" in practice, helping in practice by imitating her as the team prepped for matchups against those outstanding Bears teams Griner anchored. 

Then Cox got onto the men's scout team, and he even got to play a little bit as depth became an issue. He was a mechanical engineering major at OSU and even had a job in Houston lined up with a big oil company after graduation. Over two years ago, he went to Los Angeles for an AFL combine, made an impression as a big man who can move, and is now a starter for the Magpies. It's more remarkable because the track record is not good when American athletes try out for the AFL. Different skill sets are required. 
Cox's bio from the Collingwood team website.
He splits time between ruckman and the forward line. At the ruck position he helps win possession off center bounces, and as a forward his height is an advantage when the ball is kicked to him. Mason kicked two goals for the Pies in the loss to Port. 

Not bad for someone who hadn't even heard of the game until he went to the combine a few years ago. 

What I'm watching this weekend: Cox and his Collingwood teammates play Melbourne, and another test for North Melbourne as they play the Geelong Cats.

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