RYAN BROEKHOFF EXTENDS HIS STAY IN THE HEARTLAND

RYAN BROEKHOFF EXTENDS HIS STAY IN THE HEARTLAND

Ryan Broekhoff has re-signed with the Phoenix for two years, committing to the club to the conclusion of the NBL23 season.

Broekhoff joined the Phoenix in the middle of the NBL21 season following three years in the NBA with Dallas and Philadelphia.

The 30-year-old’s signature was a major coup for not only the Phoenix but the entire NBL, and his recommitment is another landmark moment in the club’s short history.

“I’m excited to resign with the Phoenix. Having stability in my professional career is very important to me and I’m looking forward to rejoining the boys and improving from last season,” Broekhoff said.

Broekhoff grew up in South East Melbourne playing for the Frankston Blues and is excited to continue his journey in his hometown.

“I’ve just really enjoyed my time since returning home and being around this club,” he said.

“I love the team, my teammates, everyone from the coaches to front office. It’s a fun team to be around, it’s a fun group. We enjoy each other’s company and that’s pretty special.

“It’s been a great experience coming back and helping the team grow. It’s such a young club but you see the excitement and the buzz in what we’re building towards, so I’m really excited to be a part of that for the next two years.

“I’m looking to build on some (physical) continuity and hopefully string some good games together going forward. I’ve got to clean some things up and hit some shots and hopefully help the team win some more games.”

Broekhoff last week advised Basketball Australia that he would not join the Olympic squad in the USA for the final selection camp ahead of the Olympic Team announcement in early July.

The decision came after he decided it was time to focus on his mental health.

“For me to play at my best I need to be mentally and physically firing, and I’m not there right now,” he said, “My mental health is something I have struggled with for a long time and I think it’s important for me to put my hand up and admit when things aren’t ok and that it is time to seek help.”

Broekhoff felt welcomed the minute he walked through the door at the South East Melbourne Phoenix.

“I really love this team, the players the coaches and the front office it has been a great experience coming back. I’ve felt supported by the entire club and I know that will continue,” he said.

His re-signing caps off an exciting week and a half for the Phoenix, joining Mitch Creek, Kyle Adnam and Izayah Le’afa in recently committing to the club for NBL22.

Broekhoff has already made his presence felt in the South East Melbourne community and is passionate about growing the game in the area.

“It’s amazing what the club has been able to achieve in two years,” he said.

“The amount of support in the community and the outreach programs the club do are great at bringing everyone together and getting down to the Heartland of basketball.

“Off the court they’re doing a great job and being able to establish myself back in the community where I grew up and spent a lot of time around clubs has been fun and rewarding for me.

“Things are exciting and building on the court as well. The club is just going to great places.”

Phoenix Media (28/06/2021)