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Brad Newley to retire after 20 seasons as a professional

14 Feb
4 mins read

Written By

Melbourne United Media

The multiple-time Olympian has played close to 800 professional games across his career

After 20 seasons as a pro, one of Australia’s greatest ever hoopers is set to hang up his basketball shoes and call time on his career.

Brad Newley, after close to 800 professional games across Australia and Europe, has made the decision to bring his remarkable basketball journey to a close at the conclusion of NBL24.

Speaking to Melbourne United Media, Newley said he is ready for the next stage of his life, and is grateful for everything he has been able to experience.

“I’m ready,” he said.

“I’ve hit a part of my career now where I’m needed more now off the court than I am on it and I feel now that I’m ready to step away.

“I’m very grateful to United for bringing me in and giving me these extra three years and giving me the chance to help contribute to a championship.

“While it can obviously be hard to take a step back and perhaps not play as much as you’d like anymore, getting to be a part of a team that’s winning and that has great camaraderie is really special.

“It hasn’t been a really hard decision for me given the fact that I’ve been playing for 20 years. I’m lucky that I’m not going out injured, I’m still able to play with my kids and I’m still able to move.”

A product of Pasadena High School in South Australia, Newley attended the AIS before turning pro at 19 years of age with the Townsville Crocs.

After three seasons up north, which included being drafted by the Houston Rockets in the 2007 NBA Draft, an ALL-NBL selection, Rookie of the Year and Best Sixth Man award wins, Newley headed to Europe, where he played for the next decade across Greece, Turkey, Lithuania and Spain.

During this time, the star forward matched up against future NBA stars such as Luka Doncic and Jonas Valanciunas. 

Following this, Newley returned to Australia, playing five seasons with the Sydney Kings before signing with Melbourne United, where he quickly became a crowd favourite.

Looking back on his career, the multiple-time Olympian ruminated on all the people and places he got to cross paths with.

“It’s taken until the last couple of years to really appreciate those moments,” he said.

“It’s funny the crossover of my career. I played against Andrew Gaze in the last game of his career when I was with the Crocs. Then a decade later he ended up being my coach.  

“Years later I see a young Josh Giddey and Zac Triplett sitting in our locker room, and then seeing them become pros is very special.

“I look at someone like Luka Doncic, I played against him when he was 17 and now he’s one of the best players on the planet.

“I even look at someone like Chris Goulding. I was one of the ‘vets’ when he came into the Boomers program and now seeing his career and what he’s been able to achieve with the Boomers, it’s crazy.”

Since signing with United, Newley boasts one of the highest winning percentages in the league, having won 48 of his 75 appearances with Melbourne.

Having made the transition from fierce rival to now beloved team member, Newley said his time with MU has been a period he’ll never forget.

“Playing here has been awesome,” he explained.

“Some of my fondest memories of my career came playing against Melbourne United, the battles we’d have when I was with Sydney.

“These past three years, being a part of this club and being embraced by this fanbase that’s been so crazy about the game since COVID, it’s been something really amazing.”

Newley will suit up for his final pair of regular season home games in Round 20 against the Taipans in Cairns on Friday evening, and at home against the Hawks on Sunday from 2pm.

Newley will continue to play for Melbourne United through to the conclusion of the team’s NBL24 finals campaign.

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