21/02/2024

Matthew Dellavedova starring in undefeated start to NBL24. (Image: Melbourne United website)

Melbourne United guard Matthew Dellavedova spoke very highly on the transformative journey of Australian basketball. 

Dellavedova has been impressed with the plethora of quality players within the Australian league, highlighting their remarkable skills and untapped potential. 

The veteran guard commended the league and affiliated clubs for their tireless efforts in honing these talents, emphasising the crucial role of player development in Australian basketball’s success story.

“[There’s] a lot of quality players that are already good that have obviously a world of potential,” Dellavedova said.

Dellavedova shared his perspective on the shifting narrative surrounding Australian basketball within NBA circles. The conversations are changing among NBA coaches and front office staff, who are now not only inquiring about specific players but also seeking insights into the overall basketball landscape in Australia. 

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“I think it’s completely changed, a lot of people are following closely,” he said.

“There’s a clear pathway to playing in the NBA, [and] for the Boomers in the NBA.”

“I think trying to continue to connect with junior clubs around Victoria is awesome and it’s just a fun thing.”

The Next Stars program has helped reshape the perception of Australian basketball, making it a force to be reckoned with on the global stage. Dellavedova’s teammate Ariel Hukporti has been a beneficiary of the program after a ruptured Achilles sidelined him for the entire NBL23 campaign. The former NBA champion said that Hukporti has been an important asset for the side.

“Aida [Ariel] to come back in the shape he’s in and just with the focus, his communication level has gone to another level in his pick and roll coverage,” he said.

“I just think that’s going to be so important for him going forward he’s been unbelievable on the boards, blocking shots, changing shots and just defending the pick and roll, he’s been awesome for us.”

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