For any athlete, surgery during the off-season usually calls for rest and recuperation, with an equal serving of relaxation and recovery.
Not for Adam Gibson.
Just eight weeks after ankle surgery, the 29-year old signed up for the CPA Australia NBL All Australian Tour, to take part in the three-game series in China.
“This was my eighth trip to China as a player and this was the best tour I have been on – the NBL went above and beyond,” said Gibson.
“I might have suited up a bit early but because we were so well looked after, I felt really comfortable and got to play more than I expected to.”
With Australian Boomers training camp fast approaching, “Gibbo” jumped at the chance to return to the court and train under National Head Coach Andrej Lemanis.
“I didn’t play in Game One because it was too soon, and after Game Two I pulled up a little sore that next morning.
“We couldn’t do ice baths over there because you have trouble getting anything that’s not lukewarm in China,” he said.
“I wasn’t sure that I was going to play Game Three but it ended up feeling good enough, so I played and got through it pretty well.
“It was a real highlight playing Game Three at the Olympic Stadium – it’s a huge stadium with a great atmosphere.”
While Gibson now focuses on yet another possible Olympics campaign in August, he can’t help but be excited about the Brisbane Bullets and their NBL return.
“I can’t wait to get started with the Bullets again. I’m really excited about how the roster is growing and how impressive the front office is shaping up to be. We’re definitely bringing back the Bullets in form,” he said.
— FOX Basketball (@FoxBasketball) April 19, 2016
The China tour gave the veteran guard a head start on his preparation with some great insight from coach Lemanis and assistant Mick Downer, who will also be in charge of the clipboards in Brisbane.
“On this tour, we started running some stuff we will be implementing in Brisbane, which proved to be a nice little practice run. To be honest, this season can’t start soon enough.”
The Bullets take part in the competition for the first time since February 2008, today marking exactly 3000 days since the NBL had representation in Australia’s third biggest city.
On that final occasion, the Melbourne Tigers eliminated the home team from the semi-finals in an overtime thriller at the Brisbane Convention Centre.
“I remember the game well as I only re-watched it a couple of months ago,” said Gibson.
“I had the game on VHS and am in the process of transferring them all to digital. I remember Dave Thomas hit a big bucket late and he killed us.”
Gibson is the only player still active in the NBL from that Bullets team, and he returns with more than eight years of NBL experience under his belt.
— Brisbane Bullets (@BrisbaneBullets) April 8, 2016
He was the first player signing for the relaunched franchise, alongside renowned NBL shooter Daniel Kickert.
“In the small amount of minutes that I got to play in China, I got to play with Kickert and feed the ball to him for some shots,” he said.
“We haven’t played in the NBL together before so that was a lot of fun, and hopefully we will be doing a lot more of that over the next couple of years.”