United celebrate Rob Loe as he departs the team
Melbourne United Media
While Nominated Replacement Player Rob Loe may have departed the team to return to his family in New Zealand, his impact has left a lasting impression on Melbourne United.
Loe suited up in eight games for MU, averaging 5.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game, while registering a 7-1 record.
His easy transition into the lineup came as a result of the welcoming environment he entered upon his arrival at Hoop City.
“It was all great, I just loved everyone around this club,” he said.
“From the day I got there everyone was super welcoming and just made me feel like a part of the family, from the office staff all the way down to all our DPs and training players.
“The group was just great to be around. Everyone was so positive and when you’re leaning towards the tail end of your career, it’s nice when you’re having some fun and that showed itself on the court.”
Head Coach Dean Vickerman praised Loe for his willingness to buy into the culture of Melbourne United, as well as his ability to thrive in any role that was asked of him.
“When we signed Rob, we wanted to ensure that we had someone that could come in and help us have a winning record while Jo (Lual-Acuil Jr) was out,” Vickerman explained.
“Rob was magnificent in that, both in his teaching of Ariel who was playing ahead of him, and in his threat as an elite player on the floor.
“His biggest impact was his ability to help others. When Jo came back, he was willing to take a step back and not play as much and play a different position while LT was out.
“He and his family deserve to be celebrated for the role that they played.”
The big Kiwi was indeed celebrated by both the playing group and the United faithful on Sunday evening following Melbourne’s win over the Sydney Kings in front of another sold-out John Cain Arena crowd.
“I’d always said I loved playing against United inside John Cain Arena, so getting to be on the good side of all those fans was awesome,” Loe said.
“I think the fans have really gotten behind us this season, they’ve been selling out the arena for almost every game and I hope that continues because we succeed when the crowd’s behind us.”
While there remains a chance Loe could return to the lineup if required due to injury, he is hoping that the team remains healthy and he can cheer for the group from home.
“I’d hope that you don’t have to see me again, because that would mean someone has gotten hurt,” he laughed.
“There’s still a chance I could be back with the group if the situation requires it, but I’m hoping I can just support the boys from here and celebrate their success as they chase the goal of a championship.”