Akil Mitchell has no interest in running into a number of locals when on tour with the Breakers in Australia.
The American import will play in Brisbane this weekend at the pre-season Australian Basketball Challenge when he will get his first taste of life on the road with the Breakers - just don't ask him to go on a nature walk or go for a swim at a beach.
Having overcome one phobia when he completed the Sky jump off the Sky Tower at the season launch a fortnight ago, the 24-year-old power forward admits there are some Australian locals he is not looking forward to meeting.
"I am looking forward to my first trip to Australia for sure, first and foremost to get some more games with the team and to continue to work on improving towards that season opener at Vector Arena on October 7," he said.
"But while I'm sure I will enjoy Australia and the people, I just don't want to run into spiders or snakes or anything like that. I am not getting in the water or messing with any animals - that is something I am definitely not going to do. I hear that they have all sorts of creatures that might not like me, so I will be sticking to basketball for sure while we are over here!"
The Breakers open their Australian Basketball Challenge campaign against Sydney tomorrow before games against Cairns and Adelaide. The play their first game in the new ANBL season against Melbourne United on October 7 in Auckland.
"It will be great to work on getting to know a couple of the other teams, the league generally, the referees and how they interpret the games and the general style of play. For me personally, though, my game is coming on well and it is fun to get out there and play again."
Coach Paul Henare says the ABC is as much about ensuring he has a healthy roster for that season opener as it is about scouting other teams and continuing to work on improvements within his own roster.
"Kirk [Penney] has a minor calf strain and we will see how he goes," he said. "We don't expect him to play much if at all this weekend but he should be fine for October 7 at Vector Arena. Corey [Webster] is similar to Kirk, he has seen a specialist to see what is happening with his back and hip so, again, we will manage him over the weekend. Tom [Abercrombie] has come through pretty well with his minor back strain and with Woody [Ben Woodside], he is dealing with a heel issue but he has rested for a couple of days but he should be fine to go. We will see how he goes at training.
"The injuries and disruption is a setback in terms of on court chemistry and working through rotations in the pre-season, but the most important thing is to get everyone as healthy as we can before October 7 and that is our focus now. Tommy will be fine, that is just a minor one and with Corey and Kirk we are still two weeks away so it is plenty of time to come right."