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Aussie star David Andersen signs with United

Returning home to the Australian way of life with his young family was a major factor for one of Australia’s most successful basketball players, David Andersen, when he signed with Melbourne United for two years. “It’s great to be home. I’m excited about the Club and the challenge of bringing the Championship back to Melbourne. It’s a good way to end a long career. For me personally it (coming home) was definitely one of the deciding factors. I’ve been overseas for forever now, its been a long time. I’ve got family and friends around here so moving back will be great and having the chance to play in front of them is a great thing, he said.” “The family love being back here. It was probably the big factor in me coming home, doing it for the kids and my wife. They’ll now be able to settle in a bit more and enjoy the Australian way of life rather than often having to find a new home, settle in to a new place, learn a new language…all those things are pretty hard on your family. I’m looking forward to it too. A bit of Aussie summer is something I’ve missed for many years.” Andersen has just completed his latest season in Europe leading French side, Asvel Lyon-Villeurbanne to the Pro A Championship and was selected for the 2015 French Pro A League All Star Game in December last year. “It’s special. It is unique. This year we weren’t tipped to win the (Pro A) championship by any means so we had our ups and downs but came together and jelled perfectly in the finals. We came back from being down 0-2 to winning 3-2 which was awesome and kind of shocked the league a bit in that sense,” he said. “For me personally it was great. I have won championships in Italy, I’ve been in Spain, I’ve been in Russia, I’ve been in Turkey so I’ve won a lot of Cups around the world but it was special to me as the French League is so balanced and when you’re not expected to win and you surprise everyone it is exciting.” It was yet another great season for Andersen, leading ASVEL in scoring during the FIBA Europe Cup (15.7 points) while also contributing 7.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists. He was so efficient shooting the ball, he averaged 52.5% from the field and 41.9% from behind the arc. Andersen’s French title now sits alongside 3 Russian Championships, 3 Italian Championships and 1 Spanish Championship. He also has won 3 Euroleague titles, in 2001, 2006 and 2008. Not a bad resume for the now Melbourne United big man heading to his fourth Olympics in August after being announced in the Olympic Basketball Team for the Rio Olympics last week. “When it’s your fourth time, you’re not as anxious or nervous. It’s more excitement. Every time you get selected it’s an amazing feeling. You kind of pinch yourself and think ‘oh geez I’m going to the Olympics’ and then when people tell you it’s your fourth Olympics ‘I’m like geez I never thought I would go to one’.” “It’s a great honour. I’m very proud to be part of the Olympic team and hopefully we can go there and do something special this time around. I’m just really taking it all in and letting it sink in now. There’s a lot of things happening,” he said. “I know a few of my new Melbourne teammates and I’ve been rooming with Chris Goulding at the Boomers so we get along really well and we’ve had some good chats. He was one of the (helpful) factors in helping me decide to join Melbourne United.” Melbourne United Head Coach Dean Demopoulos agreed saying it was exciting to have one of the most decorated players in Australian basketball history joining the side. “We welcome his experience, outstanding leadership and his basketball ability. He will make me a better coach.” Melbourne’s roster is shaping up impressively with nine players now signed. Young guard Igor Hadziomerovic through injury has been removed from the active playing roster, which leaves two roster spaces available. Melbourne’s Squad: Chris Goulding, David Andersen, Cedric Jackson, Todd Blanchfield, Tai Wesley, David Barlow, Majok Majok, Nate Tomlinson, Owen Odigie, Kyle Adnam* and Tohi Smith-Milner*. *Development Player David Andersen Information: Previous Clubs: 1996-1998 – AIS 1998-99 – Wollongong Hawks (NBL) 1999-2003 – Bologna (Italy) 2003-04 – Montepaschi Siena (Italy) 2004-2008 – CSKA Moscow (Russia) 2008-09 – FC Barcelona Regal (Spain) 2009-2010 – Houston Rockets (NBA) 2010 – Toronto Raptors (NBA) 2010-2011 – New Orleans Hornets (NBA) 2011-12 – Montepaschi Siena (Italy) 2012-13 – Fenerbahce (Turkey) 2014-2014 - SIG Basket Strasbourg (France) 2014-Current - Asvel Lyon–Villeurbanne (France)   Major Awards: Pro A League Championship: 2016 French Pro A League All Star: 2015 Olympic Games: 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016 FIBA Oceania Championship: 2015 FIBA World Championship: 2010 Euroleague Champion: 2001, 2006, 2008 Italian A1 Champion: 2001, 2004, 2012 Russian Superleague Champion: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Spanish ACB Champion: 2009 Italian A1 Finals MVP: 2004 Italian A1 Cup MVP: 2012 Turkish Cup MVP: 2013 Australian Junior International Player of the Year: 1998    
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