It’s the classic bittersweet tale. Not quite Shakespeare but a happy ending nonetheless. In this love story, they missed the finals, but got the girl.
This is the story of Ben Madgen and Tom Garlepp. Teammates. Kings. Modern day romantics. In their own, unique way.
You see, they may have missed the NBL finals, but there was no time for kicking stones. The Sydney duo had to quickly re-direct their focus on another major milestone: getting married.
Both NBL players have shared strikingly similar off-season schedules, both re-signing with their club on two-year contracts, before preparing for weddings in the same month.
“May is pretty much the time for basketballers. You speak to anyone in the NBL that gets married, it’s always May,” said Garlepp.
“Enough time to do a pre-season, enough time to finish your own season. It’s got to be structured that way.”
Garlepp is keeping it in the basketball family, marrying his long-time partner Renae Camino in Wollongong over the weekend.
The former WNBL player had to wait a while for her special day to come, with a long two-year engagement. “I definitely stretched it out,” he laughs.
“But the wedding was really well planned. It was the best day of my life,” beams Garlepp, who is equally satisfied with his rug-cutting abilities.
“The dance went well. We invested a lot of time and money into the dance, thanks to Jade Hatcher, if you can give her a plug - that went off without a hitch!”
“I can’t remember the song though. It was man and wife … by some woman,” Garlepp jokes. “Something off Renae’s iPod!”
Teammate Ben Madgen clearly remembers the name of his wedding song.
“It was “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. I’m not the best dancer, though. Mostly slow hip movements,” he jokes.
Madgen got married at the beginning of the month in Sydney after a whirlwind romance to Bria Kirk.
“We were engaged for a year. We only met just over two years ago, but when you know – you know!”
Madgen can echo Garlepp’s sentiments about having ceremonies at this time of year.
“I made mine the first weekend after the grand final – just in case,” Madgen says.
“It didn’t work out that way, but I did want to make it the earliest I could after the season.”
The couple were lucky the autumn weather played in their favor, and their party of 120 weren’t rained out.
“We had four perfect days of weather before our wedding, but when we woke up on the day it was pouring down.
But in the end, it came good. Although it was cold, it didn’t rain in the photos and we had an awesome time. There were lots of family around, dancing and having fun.”
The newlyweds then went to Bali for a quick ten-day honeymoon, before Madgen returned in time to get the call-up for the Australian Boomers training squad.