Australian basketball, still gasping for corporate, media and fan
support throughout Australia, is hoping the presence of another high
profile Aussie in the elite NBA can kick start the game at local level.

It was
fortunate that Luc Longley just happened to get traded to the champion team of
the 90’s, the Chicago Bulls, and play alongside the legendary Michael Jordan at
the peak of his career. This reflected glory helped drive the local league to
new heights, but since Jordan retired interest in basketball in this country has
waned so dramatically that the NBL has been in danger of joining baseball as a
collapsed local league.

Jackson more than does her bit for the women’s game locally, and could well be
considered our most elite female athlete taking part in next year’s Commonwealth

Tomorrow morning our time, the
NBA’s number one draft pick, Melbourne’s Andrew Bogut will make his professional
debut for the Milwaukee Bucks and there’s much riding on how his career
progresses. And it’s
safe to say that the American media is
also anxious to see what Bogut can or can’t do.

According to
today’s US Journal Times, Bogut might
make his debut as a surprise starter in the Bucks opening NBA regular season
clash with the 76ers in Philadelphia.

The 7-foot
plus centre had been expected to be coming off the bench after coach Terry
Stotts earlier said he intended to start newly-acquired Jamaal Magloire at
center, with veteran Joe Smith at power forward. But now with Smith injured, Bogut could form
a “twin tower” forward combination with Magloire – and all the signs in practice
are good.

“I see Andrew
Bogut potentially being a very good player in this league,” the Journal Times
quotes Magloire, who was himself an Eastern Conference All-Star selection two
seasons ago. “If he works like I have seen him in the last couple of days, the
sky is the limit for him.”

basketball is hoping that the sky has a very big silver lining for them as well,
including calling on Bogut for their 2008 Olympic Games campaign. He’s already
an instant millionaire, but now it’s game time and the world is watching to see
if he will become one of the NBA’s future stars and justify that big Nike deal
that came with his number one draft selection.