Courtesy of Dan Woods of NBL.com.au
South East Melbourne wing Ryan Broekhoff believes “unfinished business” is a key reason as to why Matthew Dellavedova has returned to the NBL with Melbourne United.
Broekhoff – who represented the Boomers alongside Dellavedova at the 2016 Rio Olympics – lined up on the other side of the court to the former Cleveland Cavalier in his most recent campaign with United.
Melbourne ended the regular season at the top of the table with a 20-8 record, but suffered semi-final elimination at the hands of Tasmania in a best-of-three game series.
With ‘Delly’, I think it’s a little bit of unfinished business from his one season with United,” Broekhoff told SEN. “They were flying and then a few injuries derailed them right at the pointy end of the season.
“I think for ‘Delly’ as well, he has big goals of going to the Olympics next year, so he’ll be wanting to be playing. Playing at such a high level like the NBL will be great preparation for him to attack that full steam.”
Dellavedova has already represented Australia at two World Cup tournaments and a trio of Olympic Games’. Broekhoff played alongside the Melbourne guard at the 2014 World Cup.
He says his international teammate’s influence off the court should not be understated.
“He’s been the heart and soul it feels like for such a long time,” Broekhoff said. “The workhorse. The guy who does whatever is needed.
“We’re at that stage now where there’s so much young talent coming through that ‘Delly’ offers the experience of the great role model for the team, how to perform, how to be a professional, what it means to be a Boomer.
“Don’t get me wrong, he can still play at a very, very high level … but he’s definitely at that peak age where he can help that next generation come through.”
While Dellavedova’s immediate future with Melbourne United looks to be set in stone, Broekhoff’s status for NBL24 still remains muddy at best.
Following South East Melbourne head coach Mike Kelly’s statement that he wants the former Dallas Maverick to return to the club, Broekhoff says he has other things to take care of before he makes a decision.
“We haven’t moved too far on that front,” Broekhoff said of contract talks. “I did see the pressure being applied through the media but it’s really nice to know that he thinks highly of me and wants me as part of the team.
“There’s so much else going on trying to get a business up and running and my wife being 30-odd weeks pregnant that we’ve got some important things coming up in the next six to eight weeks.
“We’ll see what happens when we’ve established the business, the kid settles into some sort of routine, and what that timeline looks like.”