Knight calls it a day af­ter head in­juries

Ellenbrook Advocate - - SPORT -

THE risk of fur­ther head in­jury has forced the re­tire­ment of Perth Wild­cats power for­ward Matt Knight.

The 32-year-old made the de­ci­sion to re­tire af­ter a string of head in­juries, the lat­est be­ing a train­ing in­ci­dent that forced him out of Fri­day night’s win over Syd­ney.

The three-time cham­pion said it was a hard de­ci­sion but feels it was the right one.

“I’ve had a great ca­reer; I’ve achieved ev­ery­thing I set out to,” he said. “Bas­ket­ball has been re­ally great to me.

“Right now, what’s more im­por­tant is my long-term well-be­ing. I have the op­por­tu­nity to re­tire now while I am still healthy and when I sat down to think it through, it be­came pretty ob­vi­ous that this was the right time for me to leave the game.”

Knight joined the Wild­cats in 2010 af­ter two sea­sons at West Syd­ney Ra­zor­backs/Syd­ney Spirit, and one play­ing over­seas in Hun­gary.

The 2009 NBL Most Im­proved Player went on to play 181 games for the Wild­cats and was a ma­jor fac­tor in the club win­ning three cham­pi­onships in the past four sea­sons (2014, 2016, 2017).

He ends his ca­reer as a 236game NBL vet­eran, in­clud­ing 30 fi­nals games.

One of the best de­fen­sive and most in­flu­en­tial big men in the com­pe­ti­tion through­out his ca­reer, Knight was named in the All-NBL First Team in 2013, one of only 10 Wild­cats to re­ceive that hon­our. In 2015 and 2016 he was also named in the All-NBL Sec­ond Team.

The Tas­ma­nian said de­spite the in­di­vid­ual hon­ours, win­ning three cham­pi­onships was his ca­reer high­light.

“Not ev­ery­one gets to win a cham­pi­onship,” he said. “Win­ning the first was amaz­ing, win­ning two more is un­be­liev­able.”

Knight will end his ca­reer with av­er­ages of 11.9 points per game at 49 per cent from the field, plus 7.0 re­bounds per game.

He has re­mark­able ca­reer­high fig­ures of 35 points and 16 re­bounds and recorded 41 dou­ble-dou­bles in his ca­reer.

Matt Knight looks to put a shot up against Delvon John­son, of the Illawarra Hawks, in one of his last games for the Wild­cats.

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