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Ben Madgen | Determination, grit, toughness from Ben's juniors, US College, NBL and European career that we can all can learn from

November 9, 2018

Preface by Janx.....


Todd Matthews, who had significant success as a player at state and then collegiate level, then with the Norwood Flames in the Premier League, wrote an article called “Capturing the winning qualities of South Australian basketball”.  Todd spoke about the love he has for the game, importance of facing challenges and failures head on, training hard and building a culture in your program to win.  We think that Todd’s attitude and mindset captures the essence of success in South Australian athletes that succeed in our sport.  We have seen similar insights from Peter Hooley (ref: THAT moment. The years of preparation, the mindset and the delivery) and Brad Newley (ref: From SA to the AIS, to Europe, to the Olympics, and the NBL; Living the basketball dream) to name a few.


These cultures are contagious in teams, amongst cohorts of athletes, and when it happens we often see a club, state program go from strength to strength.  The key is to provide the opportunity for this culture and values to act as a launching pad for athletes into international and professional programs, leading by example for the next athletes coming through, building winning programs.  We want coaches from all over the world know the kind of athletes they will typically get from our state.  We hope that helps facilitate these cultures and our featured athletes continue to set the standard for others to follow. 


 PICTURED (Pic source The Australian): 6'4'' Madgen spent 6 seasons with the Sydney Kings in the NBL before heading to Europe.


We feel Ben Madgen also epitomises a South Australian Baller, and his career has taken him from Eastern Mavericks, State Junior Teams, NCAA College Basketball, the NBL and European leagues.  With a physical and mental toughness and unbelievable work ethic to get better he has constantly improved throughout his career from College, to the NBL, to Europe.


In this interview Ben highlights his journey and the qualities he feels he developed as a junior that have continued into his Collegiate and now Professional Career.  Like most of the athletes writing articles for (this is probably the bulk of successful professional and collegiate out of South Australia) Ben has suffered setbacks and challenges through his career.  Like most this came as a result of misguided talent ID and feedback earlier in his career (the talent ID and feedback to make up a future blog) which he managed to use for motivation.  Ben always tries to use the game as a personal development tool to develop and grow on and off the floor, he has become a driven and determined leader.


We also look forward to hearing insights on playing in Europe, with great insights on the style of game in Europe, different pathways to Europe’s top leagues.  Ben will explain how characteristics as simple as manners and respect shown to support staff can help separate you from the pack in the elite levels in Europe.  Some great insights for youth and budding professional athletes wanting to forge long term career, all over the world.


Over to Ben…..


Tell us about your junior career in South Australia?


My early days were humble ones! I first started playing at age 7 and then went on to join the Eastern Mavericks.  I wasn’t blessed with amazing natural talent and certainly wasn’t earmarked as a player to watch by any means. My one competitive edge was my immense desire to improve. I practiced before school, after school and was always the first player on the court to put up shots.