In what ranks as one of the biggest coups in the history of the franchise, the Sydney Kings have officially announced that Australian star Brad Newley will join the club for the next three NBL seasons.
A 199cm swingman, Newley has had a tremendous career, both in Australia and overseas, and has been a stalwart of the Australian Boomers since breaking into the national program with the Gold Medal winning team in the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
The 31-year old is a two-time Olympian, representing Australia with distinction at both Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012, and was a member of the Australian team that won gold at the 2003 FIBA World Junior Championships.
Newley has been a standout since his arrival in the professional ranks in 2004 with the Townsville Crocodiles, putting together a brilliant debut season that saw him named as both the NBL Rookie of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year – the only player to ever achieve that feat – and he was the Most Valuable Player of the 2005 NBL All Star Game.
In all, he played 102 games for the Crocodiles over three seasons, averaging 19.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game – great numbers that saw him garner attention from the NBA with the Houston Rockets taking him with the 54th overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft.
Newley has played in several powerhouse European competitions for nearly a decade, spending time in Greece, Turkey, Lithuania and most recently Spain, where he played for Gran Canaria in the elite ACB league from 2012 to this year.
Throughout his outstanding career, Newley has earned a reputation as an excellent two-way player, able to impact the game in both offence and defence. He’s devastating in transition and a threat from all over the court, and his addition gives the Kings another feared weapon in what will undoubtedly be one of the most competitive NBL seasons on record.
Sydney Kings Managing Director, Mr Jeff Van Groningen, talked about what the acquisition of Newley means to the club.
“We are extremely excited that Brad has decided to join the Sydney Kings,” Mr Van Groningen said.
“Brad’s renowned athleticism and overall skill set is now combined with an outstanding international career, a mix that will greatly assist this club in meeting its goals.
“His willingness to commit to a three year deal gives us a significant pillar to build around."
Newley expressed his excitement at returning to Australia and joining the resurgent Sydney Kings.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to come in and help a club that’s been struggling on the court for the past few years,” he said.
“But it looks like off the court things are picking up and the pieces that we are bringing in are really exciting. I just want to be a part of the growth of the Kings again.”
“I thought the timing was right to come back to Australia with a young family, and it’s great to see the direction in which the league is going, with attendances going up and a general increase in the interest in basketball.”
Newley's addition brings the Sydney Kings to seven contracted players for the 2016/17 NBL season alongside Julian Khazzouh, Jeromie Hill, Tom Garlepp and Jason Cadee, plus new recruits Mirko Djeric and reigning NBL MVP Kevin Lisch.