"I’m a football player" - Tom Wilson's departure from basketball marks loss for Aussie hoops
“I’ve made the decision knowing I won’t go back to basketball, just because it’s not gonna happen. I don’t think it’s a reality. I’m 100 per cent set on, this is my career now.
“I’m a football player.”
Yesterday, Olgun Uluc from Fox Sports Australia broke news, that Tom Wilson had decided to transit to Australian Rules Football, over continuing his career as a basketballer. Collingwood and Geelong have reportedly offered three-year deals to Wilson.
Wilson’s exit from the sport marks another loss for the Australia basketball landscape, following in the footsteps of others like Hugh Greenwood.
Basketball, while on the rise, is not comparable to the AFL as a domestic product yet. Things might change down the track, but as of right now, footy has an undeniable advantage in terms of earnings and exposure, especially for athletes who exhibit aptitude in both basketball and Australian rules football.
Wilson, who had been offered scholarships for both football and basketball at the youth level, had chosen to commit to basketball with Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence scholarship.
The guard also represented Australia on multiple occasions, including a debut for the Australian Boomers this year in the FIBA World Cup qualifying window.
Wilson had a brief college career in SMU following coach Larry Brown’s departure. After playing for SEABL’s Melbourne Tigers, he eventually began his professional career in Europe with Serbia’s Partizan Belgrade, and returned home to the NBL’s Sydney Kings.
“I’m walking away knowing I’m proud of everything I went through, overseas. Everything I went through as a person made me a lot better, and I’m really proud that I know I put everything I could into it. At the end of the day, it didn’t really fall my way,” Wilson told foxsports.com.au.
“If you look at it realistically, I’m not Ben Simmons. I wasn’t anyone like that. If I was gonna make it to the pinnacle, I was gonna need a lot of luck along the way, and unfortunately it didn’t fall my way.”
For more details: AFL 2019: Tom Wilson leaves basketball and NBL to pursue footy dream