25/04/2024
Brad Newley. Picture: NBL

Brad Newley. Picture: NBL

Veteran Brad Newley will retire at the conclusion of the NBL24 campaign after 11 seasons in the NBL.

The 38-year-old has been a staple in Australian Men’s basketball and represented his country twice at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics.

His glittering career consists of two Commonwealth Games gold medals, four golds at the FIBA Oceania Championship plus a silver at the event in 2009, and a gold in 2017 at the FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon.

Newley made his mark in the league for the Townsville Crocodiles in 2004/2005, playing three seasons up North, which involves a career-best campaign in 2006/2007 where he averaged 22.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.3 steals as the Crocodiles fell in the elimination stage to the Sydney Kings.

His efforts saw him named in the Aussie All-Stars starters alongside league legends Sam McKinnon, Darryl McDonald, Chris Anstey and Boomers teammate Joe Ingles.

After a decade away from the NBL, playing overseas in Greece, Turkey, Lithuania, and Spain, Newley returned home in June 2016, this time signing a three-year deal with the Sydney Kings.

He continued to provide valuable contributions, despite his points per game significantly dipping.

After five seasons in the Harbour City, he made the decision to join Melbourne United ahead of the NBL22 season.

Newley’s decision became official on Monday, telling his teammates at practice.

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“It’s been a good career. I just need to take one more step and get that ring,” Newley said.

“It was a bit of fun. A few of them had an idea of what was going on and I just told them a few stories out the front, which I tend to do a little bit, and the guys enjoyed it.

“I just basically said I’m thankful for the game of basketball and what it’s been able to do for me personally.

“The people I’ve met, the places I’ve been, and things I’ve encountered. It’s been pretty cool. And just hopefully it can inspire some of our young and upcoming players to do the same.”

Only two seasons ago, Newley contemplated retiring after United’s semifinal exit to the Tasmania JackJumpers.

Although the veteran’s role has significantly diminished in NBL24, taking on a mentorship role within the group, Newley says he has enjoyed his time in Melbourne and playing in front of the fans at John Cain Arena.

“To be able to play for two more years and having another opportunity has been awesome and the club’s been real good off the court as well,” Newley said.

Newley’s basketball longevity has seen play with and against a number of superstars such as seven-time league MVP Andrew Gaze, Golden State Warriors 2015 champion Andrew Bogut, United and Boomers teammate Chris Goulding, and current Perth Wildcats coach John Rillie.

He’s also played with today’s younger generation such as Oklahoma City Thunder star Josh Giddey and United champion Jack White.

The season’s pacesetters all season, Melbourne United have locked away top spot, giving them the opportunity to rest ahead of their semifinal series against the winner of third vs fourth in the play-in tournament.

Newley has garnered every basketball accolade, except for one shining prize: an NBL championship.

“It’ll be awesome. I’ll be doing all I can, making sure everybody’s happy and cheerful on and off the floor, getting into the game because I drive the bus on the road, making sure they get there safely and these kind of things,” Newley said.

“And who knows, there could be a minute here or there. They just got to be ready all the time.

“It’s exciting the playoffs. I’ve come up short a few times. It would be good to take the next step this year.”

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