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Thanks to The Bachelor Australia, former Eastern Washington sharpshooter Felix Von Hofe has never been hotter

By Dan Thompson For The Spokesman-Review

Felix Von Hofe made his way around his old college stamping grounds on Monday in Cheney, visiting the places he used to live, the pubs he used to frequent, the basketball arena where he set records.

In the evening he settled in under one of the Reese Court baskets to watch the game between the Montana Grizzlies and the Eastern Washington Eagles, for whom he played 128 games from 2013 to 2017.

He attended the Eagles’ pregame meal, and then at the game shook many hands and posed for a number of photos. All a bit like old times.

And not at all like his life is in Australia right now.

That’s because back home, The Bachelor Australia is airing its 10th season, and as one of the show’s title stars, the 27-year-old Von Hofe is rather famous.

“People that have me on social media, they do (recognize me from The Bachelor),” Von Hofe said at halftime of the Eagles’ 64-57 win on Monday. “But to everyone else, it’s ‘Hey, there’s that lanky kid who liked to shoot 3s. That’s the guy who broke the attempts record a year before he set the makes record.”

Back in the United States for 10 days mostly spent in Los Angeles, Von Hofe said he hoped the Eagles might be playing on the road against Big Sky opponent Sacramento State. But the Eagles won’t make that trip until early February.

“Then I saw they were playing Montana,” he said, “and I thought oh, the Griz, I’ve got to make it for that one.”

Von Hofe watched the Eagles, in their 64-57 victory, make 9 of 21 3-pointers as a team (40.8%), only slightly better than his career 3-point percentage of 39.8%.

The 6-foot-5 forward, who grew up in Melbourne, holds Eastern Washington career records for 3-point attempts (657) and 3-pointers made (262). He is one of 23 players to score more than 1,000 points at Eastern (he scored 1,058), and his 128 games played are the fourth-most in program history. He played professionally last season for the Melbourne Tigers.

About eight months ago, Von Hofe was invited to interview to be one of the three bachelors on the show – this season is the first there to feature three simultaneously – and so he did.

“The funniest thing about it was, all these interviews were over Zoom,” he said, “so for all they knew, I could’ve had three legs, or you just never know, I could’ve had some crazy tattoo across my chest.”

He was selected, along with 25-year-old musician Jed McIntosh and 35-year-old restaurant manager Thomas Malucelli.

Five episodes of the show have aired so far, but Von Hofe said he hasn’t watched any of them.

“Well the funny thing is, and this is what shocks a lot of people, I can’t watch moving images of myself. I throw up. I get nausea,” he said. “When I’m walking past a train, I can’t look in the window because I’ll see my body walking, so I haven’t watched a minute of the show. Have not watched a second of the show. People keep texting me like ‘man, they’ve given you the villain edit for the first half,’ and I go, ‘I don’t know.’ “

While Von Hofe’s stay in Cheney was brief – he had an early morning flight back to Los Angeles on Tuesday – he said he enjoyed being back and visiting with the team. EWU coach David Riley, who was an assistant coach when Von Hofe played, is the only member of the program still around, but there was still plenty of familiarity for the former player.

“The one thing you remember when you come back here is the nostalgia,” Von Hofe said. “So much changes but so much stays the same.”

“I think that’s the cool thing about these smaller town schools: All the fans are the most important thing. They still remember you like it was yesterday,” he said. “It’s really special.”