Newley re­turns ‘ home’ for Mia

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - ROHAN O'NEIL rohan. o'neil@ news. com. au

FOR the past 11 years the Newley name has been revered by Townsville bas­ket­ball fans.

It started in 2004 when a 19year- old Brad de­lighted Crocodiles fans with his bound­less energy and ath­leti­cism, and cul­mi­nated ear­lier this year when his younger sis­ter Mia guided the Fire to their maiden cham­pi­onship.

Cur­rently ply­ing his trade for Gran Ca­naria in the highly re­spected Span­ish pro­fes­sional league, Brad Newley re­turned last week to the city where he made his pro­fes­sional de­but to at­tend Mia’s wed­ding to Townsville Heat player and Fire physio Max Mur­ray in Ayr.

The bas­ket­ball sib­lings were re­united for the first time in al­most a year for Mia’s nup­tials and Brad spoke proudly of how his sis­ter had car­ried on the sport­ing legacy that he started as a rookie from Ade­laide.

“It’s awe­some to see her do­ing so well be­cause I know how hard she works, I’ve been around her my whole life. She’s al­ways putting in the ex­tra work and it’s re­ally good to see it pay off,” he said.

“It kind of feels like I’ve passed the torch to her and she’s taken up where I left off with her legacy in Townsville and it’s re­ally ex­cit­ing to see this club grow and her grow with it.”

Newley was a gen­uine star for the Crocodiles in his three sea­sons at the club, av­er­ag­ing 19.5 points, 4.5 re­bounds and 3.1 as­sists per game and pick­ing up a swag of awards be­fore go­ing on to an in­cred­i­ble ca­reer in Europe and play­ing for the Boomers at two Olympics.

Mia Mur­ray ( nee Newley) started her Townsville jour­ney in 2011, was a key mem­ber in the Fire’s run of three straight grand fi­nals and capped her stel­lar 2014/ 15 with 23 points and seven re­bounds in the grand fi­nal win over Bendigo.

“Brad was a big in­flu­ence in me com­ing up here. He told me it was a great place to flour­ish in your bas­ket­ball ca­reer and that I would get great sup­port from the lo­cal com­mu­nity,” she said.

“I’m re­ally proud that I made the move here and that I’ve been able to make an im­pact on the team.

“If you’d said to me we were go­ing to win the cham­pi­onship in four years, it would’ve been a long shot, but it’s been a great move for me and Brad had a big in­flu­ence on that.”

It’s hard to be­lieve that two sib­lings from Ade­laide could have such pro­found im­pact on the history of the sport here, but there’s no deny­ing their achieve­ments for the two clubs.

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