Games gold perfect tonic for Newley
THE blossoming career of Townsville basketball star Brad Newley reached a new high when he helped the Australian Boomers to a Commonwealth Games gold medal in March.
With Australia being hot favourites to take out top honours heading into the Melbourne-based Games, Newley stole the show during the preliminary rounds.
The 21-year-old averaged a team-high 17.7 points as the Boomers defeated Nigeria, India and Scotland in emphatic fashion en route to the finals.
While Newley was a crowd pleaser with his athleticism and slashing drives to the basket, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Crocodile, who copped a blast from coach Brian Goorjian after injuring himself in a dunk gone wrong on the eve of the medal rounds.
But he picked himself up and, after the Boomers cruised past England in the semi-final, 101-75, Newley helped Australia to gold in a thrilling comefrom-behind victory over New Zealand in the final, 81-76.
‘‘It’s an awesome feeling, absolutely awesome,’’ Newley said after the match. ‘‘Everyone played their guts out. It was unreal.’’
While he played just 16 minutes in the decider for three points, two rebounds and two assists, the limited court time couldn’t take away from Newley’s elation when he accepted his medal.
Right from the start of the tournament he maintained that a great team effort was more appealing than a standout individual performance.
So, while statistically his efforts in the decider were his lowest outputs of the Games, he still rated it one of the best games he has ever been played in.
Newley now he has his sights set on attempting to repeat the dose at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
ELECTRIC . . . Brad Newley