When Ben Madgen steps on the court for the Sydney Kings, he’s all business. Off the court, it’s more of the same.
After getting his undergraduate degree from Augusta State University, he’s hitting the books again.
“I’m doing my MBA, my Masters in Business. I did my undergrad in the States and when I got back I thought it would be a good opportunity to continue my study,” said Madgen.
The idea of a working outside of basketball is something that sits firmly in the mind of “Madge”. He’s not ready to hang up the sneakers just yet, but when that day comes, he’ll be set.
“I’ve got a lot of theory behind me but no practical experience. I think a managerial role would suit me best because I’ve worked in a team environment with basketball,”
“At the moment I’m pretty set on challenging myself in other ways. Getting into business would take me out of my comfort zone by making me get a real job!” he jokes.
It’ll be hard to tear Ben away from the sport he loves and he makes a habit of giving back wherever possible.
“I run an annual clinic in Santa Theresa in the Northern Territory. The first year it was just a one day clinic but last year I had some more time off with my injury so I was up there for a whole week,”
“I love being up there, I took my sister the first year and my younger brother last year,” he explains.
His work up North has already resulted in a life changing experience for one aspiring Aussie Rules player.
“One kid didn’t go to school at all but he came to the basketball clinic. I gave him a really good, honest talk because he was a pretty gun sportsman. He wanted to play AFL at a private school but I explained he wouldn’t be able to if he didn’t have the grades,”
It was at this point that Madgen passed on some advice that he was given early on, and that he still lives by to this today.
“We had a really good chat and I was able to help convince him that he needs school and it’s not all about sport. Apparently he hasn’t missed a class since,”
It’s stories like this that fuel last season’s Most Improved Player to return to the region this off-season.
“I want to go back, it’ll be a busy off-season but I’d definitely jump at the chance to go back there.”
It’ll be a busy off-season indeed. After Madgen’s stint with the Boomers was cut short due to injury in June of last year, he’s eager to earn a spot on the team for the FIBA World Cup.
“It’s going to be extremely difficult but I’m going to keep working and hopefully get invited to the first camp. Then we’ll go from there and see how far I can make it,”
Ben won’t be the only Madgen looking to represent Australia in the off-season with sister Tess, a member of the WNBL’s Bulleen Boomers a chance to play at the 2014 World Championships with the Opals.
With two siblings already playing professionally, there’s still one more to come in Jack Madgen, the youngest of the family.
Jack is currently suiting up for Delta State University and hopes to follow in the footsteps of his big brother. According to Ben, we might be seeing him take to the NBL courts in the not too distant future.
“I’m pretty sure he’ll play out his four years but he’s always improving and has a great work ethic,” Madgen explains.
“I think he’ll definitely be playing in the NBL one day. He’s already had a taste. He trained with the 36ers before he went to the States.”
Currently in his Sophomore year, Jack is putting up 9.6 points per game while displaying the same shooting touch from distance that Ben has become known for, converting 40% of his three-point attempts.
While his brother may return to Adelaide at some point, Ben has set down roots in the Harbour City.
“I love Sydney, I love the team, and it’s a fantastic organisation. I love playing for Shane Heal, he’s a great coach,”
“My fiancés from Sydney as well, this is my home now, I really believe that.”
“The Kings gave me my first shot in the NBL and I don’t feel any pressure to be going back to Adelaide or anything. Sydney’s a beautiful city and I don’t have a desire to play anywhere else,” he concludes.
Whether it’s on the court or one day in the boardroom, one thing is for sure. Ben Madgen means business in all that he does.