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I Had NBL21 Offers from Sydney, Hawks: Madgen

Retired NBL star Ben Madgen has revealed he had chances to keep his career going this upcoming season with offers from the Sydney Kings and The Hawks.

Madgen announced his retirement last month after a professional career that spanned over a decade. The 35-year-old played in the NBL and across Europe in Belgium, Lithuania and Germany, and had the opportunity to add to his basketball resume this season.

However, Madgen has explained his decision to move back home to Sydney and retire was made with his family in mind, as he can now spend more time with his son Xavier, who has been diagnosed with Autism.

Madgen also has a second son Mack who he can now dedicate all of his time and efforts to. 

“There were definitely some options there to be able to play for both (The Hawks) and Sydney and some other teams,” Madgen told Gibbo Goes One-On-One Driven By MG.

“Ultimately it wasn’t about basketball because with my situation with Xavier, that made it easy. My agent kept ringing and saying would you like to do this or that and I said look, I really can’t.  

“When I finally called it that was a bit of a relief, not umming and ahing about should I or shouldn’t I.

“I still love playing basketball and all the things that come along with that, but I haven’t really looked back or haven’t really had a chance to because I’ve been pretty flat out.”

Madgen also praised the support his wife Bria has given him throughout his career, saying she was a key reason why he kept following his dreams in Europe.

“She has been incredible. I owe a lot of my career to her and also just helping me become the person I am today,” Madgen said.

“I think when I first told her about my dreams to go to Europe she was picturing the beach in Barcelona and the Amalfi Coast in Italy but playing in Europe is a lot different to going on a holiday there.

“It was extremely challenging for her, she gave birth twice and all the unknowns of playing in Europe, where you are going to be year in and year out.

“After my first year in Belgium I really wanted to play EuroCup or EuroLeague. The time kept going on in free agency and I had knocked back a few offers from teams that weren’t in EuroCup or EuroLeague.

“Sydney came with a really good offer when they had the new ownership group with Gazey (Andrew Gaze) and Jeff Van Groningen there and we had a lot of chats.

“I was really close to coming back home and Bria, being seven months pregnant at the time, said don’t be silly, you came over here to reach your goals and don’t even think about going home now, it’s all going to work out for you.

“We went from Airbnb to Airbnb, we would only get one week at a time. We were in Antwerp, Belguim at the time and I was complete stressed but she held it totally together.

“Then I signed with Lietkabelis in Lithuania, a EuroCup team and I guess the rest is history.

“I was able to accomplish everything I wanted to in Europe and without her I probably would have signed straight away back with Sydney. Huge things like that have really helped me with my career.

“Now she is doing fantastic with her career. Now it’s time for me to give back to her career so I just try look after the boys and the household and she can work and focus on that because she did put in a lot of hard yards for me.”

Listen to the Gibbo Goes One-On-One podcast driven by MG every Wednesday night at 6:30pm AEST, as Adam Gibson is joined by a special guest each week. Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and YouTube. 

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBL, its Clubs or partners.

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