European clubs snap up NBL talent

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 04: Nathan Sobey of the Adelaide 36ers slam dunks during the round four NBL match between the Adelaide 36ers and the Brisbane Bullets at Titanium Security Arena on November 4, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

The NBL is the centrepiece of Australian basketball and the season we have just witnessed broke all expectations as well as records.

More Australians are watching and going to live games to witness the growing wealth of talent that our great country has to offer.

Eleven Aussies have played in the NBA this season, the Boomers’ exhibition games with Team USA have all but sold out for August ahead of the FIBA World Cup, and the NBL season combined have all served as the source of heightening awareness of Australian basketball.

Big market, heavyweight teams from Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane are set to clash in one of the most anticipated NBL finals series in recent memory.

The NBL has also captured more than just the attention of the local audience, with a number of star players from the four teams that missed out on finals being lured overseas to Europe and South America, including a host of imports and current or former Australian Boomers.

David Andersen has returned to one of his former clubs in France, joining Nathan Sobey on the roster at SIG Strasbourg. There in the French Pro A, they will face a Levallois Metropolitans side that has since also signed Nathan Jawai.

Finn Delany has hooked up with first year Australian pro Duop Reath in Serbia at FMP Belgrade, while imports Brian Conklin and Melo Trimble have teamed up at Puerto Rican club Piratas of Quebradillas who has a long history of recruiting players from the NBL.

With this flood of talent feeding from our top league internationally, it is only likely to help attract further quality imports down under for next season and generate more interest in the players treading the hardwood in 2019/20.

2018/19 NBL players who have signed overseas

Brian CONKLIN / Piratas of Quebradillas (Puerto Rico)
Demitrius CONGER / Hapoel Jerusalem (Israel)
Finn DELANY / FMP Belgrade (Serbia)
Nathan JAWAI / Levallois Metropolitans (France)
Ramone MOORE / Peristeri (Greece)
Patrick RICHARDS / Reggio Emilia (Italy)
Nathan SOBEY / SIG Strasburg (France)
Melo TRIMBLE / Piratas of Quebradillas (Puerto Rico)
Dan TRIST / Caceres (Spain)
Jacob WILEY / Gran Canaria (Spain)

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