Pictured: Brett Maher Court. Brett's name is synonymous with state's our elite, pro, national league basketball team, the Adelaide 36ers. If you do not believe me here is a pic of the court they named after him, it has his signature there in the middle of the court.
Preface by Janx.....
Not many athletes have had an 18 year pro sports career, let alone in a league like the NBL was during Brett Maher's career, sometimes considered one of the better professional pro-leagues in the world. The success he had in his pro sporting career speaks for itself; captaining the team to 3 NBL titles, 3 Olympic games etc. etc. etc. etc. This blog discusses his Olympic experience, from someone that has been there - THREE TIMES. It is a great read for any young athletes aspiring to represent Australia as a Boomer, their supporters, or anyone interested in the Olympic experience and mindset of an athlete like Brett.
Country first! That is the mantra I continually hear from so many of our current and former Australian reps I speak to at all levels. Even the coaches in the college system, that have also played or coached for Australia at International level, reverberate the same mantra. This "country first" mantra has come up on a number of occasions when asking about timing for visits, summer school in the states or going to prep or High School early that could create timing conflicts for their Aussie rep opportunities.
Talking to Americans. Sometimes by their own admission their culture is more self-serving, priorities are about me; what does this event do for me, why would I do that and what will I get if I do. Most Aussies may have a slightly different mindset and I think learning the Aussie mindset will help US College coaches better recruit Aussie kids. It will also help kids coming through our system to understand what values lead to top Aussies being so heavily recruited by Division 1 US College coaches and beyond.
Why is this "Country first" mantra so prevalent in the culture of our elite athletes and coaches?
For a professional in the sport, Olympics or world champs are not exactly going to be financially rewarding. Likewise for a young player coming through some may put perceived exposure of playing on American soil (in prep schools, High Schools etc) above Country first, but if they do they may be missing the point. They may not fully understand the premium that many college coaches are putting on Aussies and why that is. For the professional participating in Olympics, you risk injury playing at such high levels and if you do fail you fail on a world stage and this could harm your pro stocks. Here is my take why the country first mantra exists despite the above drawbacks. There are two perspectives a to why; the self serving and the self effacing.