19/05/2024

Aron Baynes is set to return to basketball after a career-threatening injury while playing for the Boomers (Photo: Basketball Australia

Aussie basketball star Aron Baynes is set to make his return to the sport after recovering from a serious spinal cord injury while on national team duty.

Newest Brisbane Bullets signing Aron Baynes has not had an easy journey back to the sport he loves, after a near career-ending injury in 2021.

Miraculously, Baynes has recovered from his freak spinal cord injury and is ready to play basketball at the top level again, signing a two-year deal with the Bullets in the hopes of finally returning to the NBA.

When asked about his plan to get back to the USA on Friday morning, Baynes responded, “Just going out and doing what I’m known to do.”

“That’s what got me to the NBA to begin with. I didn’t go out there and try and do something that I’m not capable of.

“It’s about going out there, playing the right way every time I do hit the floor and showing that I can still do what I was able to do before (the injury).”

Before the Tokyo Olympics, Baynes last played in the NBA with the Toronto Raptors, where he averaged 6.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. This came after a career year with the Pheonix Suns in the 2019-20 season, where he averaged 11.5 points and 0.5 blocks per game.

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The BrisBayne Era

His deal with the Bullets includes a clause that will allow him to head to the NBA if a team desires him, with Baynes grateful to the side for allowing him the opportunity and repay the faith.

“I’m excited to be able to go out and work with James (Duncan, head coach of the Bullets) on the court and try and get there and take steps in the right direction for myself and for the team.”

“If we’re doing that daily then we’re going to be in a good spot come the end of it.

“Basketball is my happy place and I’m just excited that I can continue that here and keep working towards building it.”

The Bullets are coming off the back of a tough season in the NBL, finishing in eighth spot with a 10-12 record.

This record didn’t stop the interest of Baynes however, with teams around Europe also vying for the signature of the 208cm center.

“Right now I know what’s in front of me… I’ve got to get to work with this fella (Duncan) and a few of the other guys and get out and meet some of them.

“Just getting out and running around for a purpose now… A purpose with a team and a group of guys that have a common goal which I’m excited about.”

Baynes was especially excited about playing alongside fellow Boomer Nathan Sobey, who last year averaged 16.1 points in limited games due to a knee injury.

“Nathan and I are pretty close…Looking forward to playing with him though, always have fun with him.”

“He’s one of those guys where every day in camp, you know what he’s going to give you, now I’m excited to see that every day.

“I think I can help his game as much as he can help mine so it’s going to be fun getting to play with Sobes (Sobey) daily.”

Baynes in action for the Boomers (Photo: Basketball Australia)

After suffering his traumatic injury while playing for Australia, Baynes is more keen than ever to make his way back into the national side.

“I just can’t wait to put on that green and gold again. That’s the epitome of basketball for me, getting to run around with my second family.”

“We’ve grown up together, we’ve seen everyone’s families grow up.

“That’s the ultimate for me is getting to go out there and compete with those guys… Now I get to play against some of them as well so, that’s going to be fun.”

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