Owen Foxwell has had a unique path to the NBL (Photo: NBL Twitter, Graphic: Will Cuckson)

Currently in his second season in the league, Owen Foxwell is relishing the opportunities he’s been given throughout the last few months.

Speaking to The Inner Sanctum, Foxwell spoke about how he first got involved playing basketball and who influenced him.

“Ever since I could remember I was surrounded by basketball through my family, through my mum and dad’s side. My family was heavily involved at a local domestic club called the SEBC Saints, whom I played for since the age of 5. Being surrounded by basketball and somewhat being thrown into the environment of basketball I fell in love.”

Growing up in Bulleen, playing with the Bulleen Boomers in under 14’s, Foxwell was grateful to have the opportunity to play with those a variety of clubs in the lead up to his NBL career, including NBL1’s Eltham Wildcats.

“I am always grateful for all the opportunities and situations I have played in, every single place has been apart of my journey of where I am today and without them I may not be in the situation I currently am in.”

“Being able to prove myself against men at a very young age at the Big V level was so important to display I am capable to play at a very high level, against people that aren’t just my age

“At the NBL1 level Eltham gave me the opportunity to really flourish and play my game against the top competition outside of the NBL in the country.”

Taking up an opportunity to be a development player for the Phoenix last season and getting extended court time this season, Foxwell discussed being able to tackle the extra load, taking the opportunity with two hands and playing in the NBL.

“I couldn’t really put it into words when it happened.”

“I won’t say I was shocked cause I believe I have worked hard enough for the opportunity I have been given, but with just being an 18 year-old kid and being given the opportunity to play and be apart of the NBL, the biggest stage in Australian basketball.

“It’s what you work for everyday as a kid to eventually get to be a professional athlete, and it was a really special moment.

“I have been given the opportunity due to injuries and illness to have an extended role with the team here and there and have just tried to do whatever I can that will benefit the team to help us win.

“With being a young guy in the league obviously every opportunity is important and you go into it with full confidence and desire to perform, but more importantly I’m more focused on doing what I can that will help the team be successful.”

Since playing at the professional level, Foxwell shared about what he’s learnt about himself that’s gotten to where he is now and the reasons he enjoys playing in a team sport.

“Willingness to learn, always seeking advice and knowledge from more experienced individuals who have been surrounded by the game for many years who can help me develop into the best player I can be.

“Always wanting to learn and taking on board what other people have to say has gone a really long way in helping me to where my skill set is today, and with that I still have that same mindset to help me continue to progress my game.”

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“Sport for me at least always started as an activity that I loved doing with my mates. Didn’t matter if it was basketball, football, soccer, cricket etc. just being able to interact and bond with others through sport was so special and was my favourite thing to do.

“All my friends I have either met through my sporting journey or shared that same love for sport when I met them in school. Along with that the idea of working towards and striving for a goal as a team is an awesome thing especially when successful.”

Foxwell discussed the strategies he uses if he’s having a tough game, the meaning of basketball and what it means to play the sport and the role models he looks up to.

“Not trying to force my way into the game, try to get myself involved through defence or by getting teammates involved can help you slowly ease back into the game and gain your confidence back. Having that next play mindset where if you make a mistake to try and put it behind myself, because I can’t change the result that has occurred.”

“Basketball is my life, it always has been ever since the age of 14 where I really committed and took it to the next level, the countless hours at the court, thousands and thousands of shots, early mornings, late nights. It’s what I now do for a living and it’s what I love to do.

“My mum and Dad, the sacrifice they have made for not only me but also my two younger brothers. They’re the ones that would have to drive me to those early morning practises, those 9:40 games in Bendigo on their Friday nights, outside rebounding in the middle of winter.

“They’re the ones that whenever I felt like it was too hard or I felt like giving up that pushed me and motivated to keep going. They wanted to see me be successful more than anything in the world and gave me the opportunity and guidance to be where I am today and wouldn’t be here without them.”

Lastly, Foxwell shared his words of wisdom to any upcoming ballers coming through the ranks and wanting to improve their game.

“Never give up, you never know who is watching, where they are watching you from. Everyone has the opportunity to make it to where you want to go with your hoop dreams, you just need to be willing to work harder than everyone else.”  

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