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Caffeinated Clint

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, an Australian basketballer has been snapped up to play a plum role in “Star Wars Episode III”.

The newspaper – via Counting Down – reports Michael Kingma has won a role as wookie Chewbacca’s hairy friend in the film.

The 207-centimetre centre became a cult hit with Sydney fans during his five seasons at the Kings, earning the nickname for his towering frame, shock of untamed blond curls and mean on-court appearance.

But the 23-year-old, who relocated to the Hunter Pirates this year, will switch from cult to mainstream success, thanks to his new role.

Kingma was snapped up with four others by writer and director George Lucas at open auditions for "tall guys" to play friends of Han Solo’s hairy offsider Chewbacca in the Star Wars prequel which is in pre-production in Sydney.

"I’m fairly pumped up about the whole thing, it should be a lot of fun," Kingma said.

"We may also have the opportunity to meet George Lucas which would be great."

Despite his height, Kingma was still not tall enough to fill a wookie’s boots – he will wear specially made platform shoes for his role.

"The five wookies will come in different shapes and sizes – I’ve already been fitted for a muscle suit, apparently they wanted to bulk me up a bit and I’m scheduled for a fur fitting next week," said Kingma.

Shooting begins next month, giving Kingma plenty of time to prepare for the new NBL season with Hunter, starting against the Melbourne Tigers in Newcastle on October 1.

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