The life of a professional athlete sometimes presents difficult choices.
At least, we hope that the decision by Mitch Creek to take leave from the Boomers just ahead of the 2018 Gold Coast Games was something of a conundrum.
Creek, having experienced the disappointment of coming painfully close to a NBL championship this season with the Adelaide 36ers, is chasing the path to glory and riches, forgoing national representative duties for a slot with a German professional club, BG Gottingen. Creek is hopeful that a good showing there will lead to an invitation to take part in the NBA Summer League, with the goal of a possible contract to play in the NBA.
That decision was met by calm resignation by Boomers Coach Andrej Lemanis, who told The Courier-Mail, “It was difficult for Mitch because he loves being a part of the Boomers program but this is his crack at his NBA dream and we completely support him. It’s always been his desire to make the NBA. He has been communicating with us all the way through so we respect it.’’
Creek has been a reliable representative in the past. He was arguably the best of the Boomers in FIBA Asia Cup and World Cup qualifying play.
The Boomers are already absent their players who are already in the NBA, where the playoff berths are mostly decided and the long haul to the 2017 – 2018 NBA Championship is about to begin in earnest. The Boomers will also have to get by without the Cairns Taipans’ Mitch McCarron, who is on his own chase to the NBA by playing in Europe.
Australia will still be the favourites to win the gold medal in men’s basketball when the semifinal and finals rounds hit the Gold Coast after the preliminary pool games.
Matt Hodgson will also miss The Games. He was a late withdrawal too, but unlike Creek, knee surgery has sidelined Hodgson.
Coach Lemanis will use Mitch Norton and Lucas Walker as replacements when the Boomers get underway against the Canadians in Cairns Friday coming.