Bogut the gearhead at Bright

TOWERING over a cavalcade of classic cars at Bright’s popular hot rod run on Saturday was an unlikely sight.

Australian NBA star Andrew Bogut was just one of the bumper crowd to make their way to the town for the annual display of vintage hot rods.

Curiously though, the 2.13-metre Milwaukee Bucks centre barely got a second glance from the throng of fellow car enthusiasts enjoying a glorious spring day.

And Bogut, 26, was decidedly content to be just another self-confessed “gearhead” as he enjoyed his first rod run, having driven up from Melbourne in a 1969 Ford Falcon XT with his father Miso and a group of friends on Friday before heading home on Saturday afternoon.

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“Yeah, we just thought we’d do something different,” Bogut said.

“I don’t usually get a chance to do this because I’m usually back in the (United) States; it’s the biggest run of the year so it’s pretty good stuff.

“We’ve got the best day to do this, the weather last week was a shocker, we were hoping this weekend it would be better and I heard they haven’t had bad weather on this weekend for years and it’s been good.

“There’s a group of us, I came in the XT, my dad brought a Pacer and a couple of friends brought some convertibles, a group of about five cars came up last night.”

Bogut said he was pleasantly surprised at the size of the rod run, with almost 800 official entrants — including a group from Western Australia — and an estimated 600 other cars making the trek to Bright.

““I didn’t realise that they had to block off the streets and stuff, it’s good to see all these hot rods come out and everyone having a good time,” Bogut said.

Ordinarily at this time of year, Bogut would be suiting up for the Bucks for the start of a new NBA season but with team owners having locked the players out while a new pay deal is negotiated, the Milwaukee pivot is free to pursue his interest in all things motoring.

“It (cars) is a bit of a passion, I’m not the biggest gearhead as far as getting stuck into them yet,” Bogut said.

“But my old man was a mechanic, so I kind of grew up around them, I always had a thing for old muscle cars, both Australian and American.

“My dad used to come here when I was like two or three years’ old, I don’t really remember too much, but we used to do a lot of fishing up here and get away for the weekend up at Bright and Mount Buffalo.

“So I know the area pretty well.”

With all games until November 30 cancelled, Bogut remained cautiously optimistic a resolution would eventuate in the coming weeks.

“I’m hopeful it will be resolved soon but it’s been like that for the last month and a half,” Bogut said.

“You know every time there seems to be a positive, a negative comes right along.”

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