The South East Melbourne Phoenix announced that former All-NBL star Ben Madgen has signed with the team.
The wiry 193cm shooting guard has been plying his trade in Europe since 2015. Having recently turned 34, he has played a pivotal role playing with Crailsheim Merlins in the German Bundesliga this season, and currently leads the team in scoring and rebounding.
Madgen played in the NBL from 2010 to 2015 for the Sydney Kings. During that time he managed to win several major awards. After his first NBL season he walked away with Rookie of the Year and in 2012-2013 led the league in scoring.
This marks another major step forward for the Phoenix. This is the second signing for the new Melbourne team. They are slowing piecing together a team that would hope to contend immediately.
Phoenix coach Simon Mitchell explained that the signing “fits perfectly with [the team’s] policy of recruiting high character professionals.”
“Ben is not only an elite player but an elite person and he will quickly become a favourite of the Phoenix fans.”
Madgen’s signing adds a cornerstone to the Phoenix franchise. He joins their Australian marquee signing, Mitch Creek as one of two notable signings. The team also announced Tommy Greer as general manager and Simon Mitchell as their head coach.
The shooting guard gives the Phoenix a volume scorer. Whilst we may not see the vintage Madgen of 2012-2013, expect him to provide experience and professionalism to a brand new organisation. He is still competing at a very high level in the German Bundesliga and will provide an outlet to score behind main man Mitch Creek.
In a short clip to Phoenix fans, Madgen talked about coming home to Australia. “I’m really excited to be joining the Phoenix. It’s a real honour to be a part of the inaugural season of the club.
“My family and I can’t wait to move to Melbourne, meet all the great South East Melbourne fans and grow this club together.”