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Eagles take punt on two basketballers

Brodie Riach (L) and Patrick Bines (R) will join the Eagles - AFL,West Coast Eagles
Brodie Riach (L) and Patrick Bines (R) will join the Eagles
There’s a lot to weigh up when you’re looking into players from other sports
Brady Rawlings

WEST Coast has taken a punt on a pair of basketballers, signing Patrick Bines and Brodie Riach as category B rookies. 

Bines represented Australia at under-17 level and was a Vic Metro hoops teammate of first-year Eagles speedster Jack Petruccelle.

The athletic 19-year-old stands at 198cm and looms a forward/ruck prospect, but will have to come to grips with the sport again after last playing football seven years ago.

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He will train in Melbourne before relocating to Perth in November.

Riach, 20, has turned his back on a US College scholarship in Wyoming to chase a professional AFL career. 

The 189cm local product played football at under-15s level, captaining Warwick-Greenwood.

"We’ve been looking in this space for two years. We’ve really invested in our scouts looking at basketball players, and other sports," list manager Brady Rawlings said.

"There’s a lot to weigh up when you’re looking into players from other sports, obviously you can’t watch them play a game of football.

"The thing with these two guys is that they’ve really shown that desire, they’re really keen to get started with us, and their attitude has been first-class.

"For them to go through this process, with their basketball path ahead of them, and put their time into football, I’ve really respected and I think they’re going to make a really good go of it."

Bines and Riach join Next Generation Academy product Tarir Bayok on West Coast's category B rookie list.

Running defender Francis Watson was also an NGA graduate who was upgraded to the normal rookie list this year.

AFL clubs can list up to three category B rookies.

Watson has been close to making his debut this season and was named in the extended squad to face Melbourne on Sunday.

The Eagles have shown a willingness to invest in category B rookies, but none have played a senior game so far.

Former baseballer Corey Adamson spent two seasons at West Coast without breaking through, while Irish recruit Paddy Brophy returned home last year early in his third season.

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