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Basketball World Cup warm up: Chris Goulding’s love-hate rollercoaster with Perth crowd

If Chris Goulding wasn’t one of Australia’s best basketballers, he’d make one hell of a professional wrestler.

Few Australian athletes polarise crowds quite like the three-point shooting superstar.

A hero in Melbourne with his popular CG43 nickname, Goulding soaks up the adulation and produces match-winning shots from ludicrous positions.

But when he steps foot interstate, Goulding is the villain.

A packed RAC Arena booed his every move during the grand final series last season.

But this weekend Goulding will be feted as a hero in Perth when he plays for Australia. He said the sporting pantomime was always evident when switching from Melbourne United to the Boomers.

“I noticed it when we played in Adelaide last year,” Goulding said.

“I played one of my early Boomers games in Perth as well and we are supported whole heartedly no matter where we go. If you didn’t embrace it in the NBL you’d be doing yourself a disservice. When I was a little younger, it got to me.

“But the reality is they pay their money and they’re going to do what they want to do.

“Hopefully we can play well and give the fans something to cheer about this week.”

Goulding has strong West Australian connections after playing for the Wildcats early in his career. His father Steve also played more than 100 WAFL games for Claremont and two State games.

He said Perth held fond memories.

“It’s one of the best venues in the country and I loved playing here,” Goulding said.

“Perth is where I made a lot of friends and the Wildcats were great to me.”

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