Back home in Australia, the 76ers’ Ben Simmons decided to play some competitive basketball Monday night. During an amateur contest in the Melbourne suburb of Greensborough, Simmons poured in 34 points, including 17 in the fourth quarter, at the Diamond Valley Sports Centre, according to multiple accounts in Australian publications.
“One of his close mates bought him down for a game to just fill in, no one in the stadium knew it was him until about five minutes into the game and then about 60 people rocked up to watch him play. It was crazy,” witness Mitchell Hamilton told the Herald Sun. “He didn’t try until the last quarter and then scored like 15 in a row and dunked on two blokes. “I’ve never seen anything like it. “Imagine rocking up to a game and seeing an NBA player on the other end.”
The Fuzz: Ben Simmons is out here throwing down on some amateurs at a local Monday night comp in rural Victoria! 🇦🇺 (via @theheraldsun)
The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball League (NBL) today announced that the Sydney Kings, Melbourne United and the Brisbane Bullets will take part in the 2017 NBA preseason in October, marking the first time that NBL teams will travel to the U.S. to play against NBA teams.
The Sydney Kings will visit the Utah Jazz, featuring Australians Joe Ingles and Dante Exum, on Oct. 2 at Vivint Smart Home Arena, followed by Melbourne United meeting the Oklahoma City Thunder on Oct. 8 at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Brisbane Bullets will visit the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Oct. 13.
Ingles was particular proud of the announcement and his involvement. “This is massive for Australian basketball and an exciting opportunity for NBA and NBL players to compete together on the same floor. As an Aussie who began my career in the NBL and now entering my fourth season with Utah, I am very proud of the growth of the game in my home country and can’t wait for the Jazz and Salt Lake City to play host to Sydney this fall.” he explained.
This preseason, the Thunder will welcome an opponent from Down Under. Melbourne United, a team from Australia’s National Basketball League, will play an exhibition game in Oklahoma City, The Oklahoman confirmed on Monday.