Creek rises with Phoenix

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY COLIN MACGILLIVR­AY

Hor­sham bas­ket­baller Mitch Creek will re­turn home to play for the newly formed South East Melbourne Phoenix in Aus­tralia’s NBL this sea­son.

Creek spent the past year in the USA chas­ing his dream of play­ing in the NBA – a dream he achieved when he was awarded a 10-day con­tract by the Brook­lyn Nets in Jan­uary.

Creek played four games for the Nets dur­ing the course of two 10-day con­tracts be­fore sign­ing an­other 10-day con­tract with the Min­nesota Tim­ber­wolves, ap­pear­ing in one game.

Creek spent the ma­jor­ity of the NBA off­sea­son work­ing out with the Tim­ber­wolves and play­ing for the club’s NBA Sum­mer League team in the hope of earn­ing a con­tract for the 2019-20 sea­son.

Creek left no stone un­turned in his con­tract chase, av­er­ag­ing 11.1 points, 4.3 re­bounds and 1.3 as­sists in more than 25 min­utes a game dur­ing sum­mer league ac­tion.

He also show­cased an im­proved three-point shot, shoot­ing 50 per­cent from long range dur­ing the Tim­ber­wolves’ seven game sum­mer league cam­paign.

De­spite Creek’s impressive play he was not of­fered a con­tract for the up­com­ing NBA sea­son and elected to re­turn to Aus­tralia to play for the Phoenix on a two-year deal.

The 27-year-old last played in the NBL dur­ing the 2018-19 sea­son when he led Ade­laide to the grand fi­nal se­ries against Melbourne United, fall­ing just short of winning the ti­tle.

He said he was ex­cited to con­tinue his pur­suit of an NBL cham­pi­onship with the Phoenix.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited to get back to Melbourne and start pre­par­ing for the NBL sea­son,” he told the club’s web­site.

“The Phoenix has been re­ally sup­port­ive of me the past few months, I couldn’t have asked for more, and I’m more than go­ing to re­pay the favour.

“I did ev­ery­thing hu­manly pos­si­ble to make my NBA dream come true and have no re­grets.

“From the sec­ond I get out of bed un­til af­ter I go to bed, I make sure I leave im­pres­sions on ev­ery­one. Know­ing all that I can live with the re­sults.”

Phoenix gen­eral man­ager Tommy Greer said Creek was ‘one of the best Aus­tralian play­ers out­side of the NBA’.

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