Games gold per­fect tonic for New­ley

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

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.

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ELEC­TRIC . . . Brad New­ley

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