David Andersen in action for United. Picture: AAP
David Andersen in action for United. Picture: AAP

Andersen clocks NBL’s longest ever milestone

IT'S taken two decades for David Andersen to clock 50 NBL games but the decorated Australian basketball stalwart wouldn't have it any other way.

The Melbourne United veteran has lived in seven countries, 10 cities and learned six different languages from "little bit" to "fluent" since making his NBL debut in 1998 for the then Wollongong Hawks.

He signed for three years but played one before a "big contract" from top-tier Italian side Kinder Bologna lured the Frankston junior to Europe, the launching pad for a career spanning 17 seasons abroad, including three at NBA franchises Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors and New Orleans Hornets.

 

"If you told me when I was 13 you're going to do this, this, this I would have laughed at you and said 'You're crazy, as if I'm going to do that'," Andersen told the Herald Sun.

"I didn't think I'd be a pro, I didn't think I'd do anything like that. It just evolved."

Andersen, 37, returned to the NBL last year and despite being the oldest player in the league has no plans to hang up the boots.

 

David Andersen barrelling USA Dream Team star Paul George in Rio. Picture: Adam Head
David Andersen barrelling USA Dream Team star Paul George in Rio. Picture: Adam Head

 

"It's been a great journey, I've had lots of highs, lows, injuries, disappointments, big wins, big celebrations, played in various countries, learned various languages, met so many different people, it's been a journey and a half," Andersen said.

"I'm very blessed to be able to do it and shown a bit of resilience to be able to play in various parts of the world (I'm) still happy to keep playing, I want to keep on playing, so I want to keep it that way."

Andersen has played every game this season including United's whirlwind NBA preseason clash with Oklahoma City Thunder, averaging 18 minutes, six points and four assists per outing.

His stacked basketball resume includes about 700 club games, 180 with Australian national teams (senior and junior), 11 championships, most-valuable-player awards and four Olympics.

"The beauty of basketball is you get to travel the world and experience different cultures," Andersen said.

"Like anything good, the good things in life seem like they go way too quick."



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