Not to be out done by fellow Australian Boomer Joe Ingles who won a Spanish National League title this week, David Andersen has led Montepaschi Siena to a 84-73 victory against Emporio Armani Milan to claim the Italian League (LegaBasket Serie A) Championship, 4-1 in a best of seven series.
The victory etches Montepaschi Siena into the Italian history books with this being their six consecutive SerieA championship, a feat never before achieved in Italian basketball and rarely accomplished in professional sports. Andersen played 15 minutes in the series clinching win, scoring seven points, grabbing two defensive rebounds and handing out three assists in an all-round display of brilliance.
Andersen will now make his return to Australia, prepared to help Australian Boomers Coach Brett Brown’s statements regarding winning a medal in London become a reality. His return to Australia has been widely anticipated by the national team, yet a fact not widely publicised about Andersen, the former Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) scholarship holder, is that he is most likely the most successful Australian men’s basketball player ever…
Lauren Jackson clearly holds the other side of that coin.
Andersen played one season in the NBL for Wollongong in 1998/99 before using his Danish passport to take advantage of the lucrative basketball contracts available in Europe. This week’s SerieA championship for Andersen is actually his third Italian Championship (he previously won back-to-back titles with Kinder Bologna in 2001-2002), add to that the fact he also has three Euroleague Championships (2001, 2006, 2008) across his impressive curricula vitae. The Euroleague Championship is a type of champions league where the best teams from different leagues across Europe vie for each year and is considered the toughest basketball competition in the world outside of the NBA. He also has Four Russian League Championships (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008), a Spanish Championship (2009) and numerous international MVP awards besides his name.
Andersen has only recently returned to Europe after flirting with three NBA teams across the past two years (Houston, Toronto and New Orleans) and he has gone about it diligently whilst displaying the blue-collar hard work expected from a boy from Frankston. Perhaps there is no greater testament to the success of David Andersen the player than his dedication to the Australian National team where he has been a regular and vital part of the squad for more than a decade, something he has maintained while remaining modest about his many achievements.
Andersen has had a stellar season in the Italian SerieA and will finally get the chance to return home when he joins the Australian Boomers for the 2012 Farewell Games. The Boomers will face Greece in Melbourne this week as part of their preparations for the Olympic Games in a three game series, two of those games having been already sold out. Tickets can be found here. No doubt people will pack the stadiums in order to see NBA superstar Patty Mills of the Spurs or former players of Melbourne NBL teams like Joe Ingles, David Barlow and Mark Worthington… but fans shouldn’t forget about the chance available now to see David Andersen, the most successful Australian basketball player ever.
Montepaschi Siena become 2012 Italian SerieA Champions
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