An Australian NBA champion is giving Newcastle Hunters rookie Jacob Foy hope that he, too, can make it to the big time.
Foy, a 17-year-old six-foot-four shooting guard, has enjoyed an eye-catching start to his senior career at the Hunters, averaging 12 points per game after six rounds.
The St Francis Xavier year 12 student moved to Newcastle from Port Macquarie two years ago and is eyeing a US college scholarship after high school.
He admits he is not the most dynamic athlete in a sport dominated by high flyers, but he sees Milwaukee Bucks star Matthew Dellavedova as a blueprint for success in the game.
“You want to be realistic with where you’re at, but it’s encouraging to see what the Aussies have done in the NBA,” he told the Herald on Thursday as the Hunters prepare for their Kibble-Mallon Cup showdown with the Maitland Mustangs on Saturday at Newcastle Basketball Stadium.
“I’m not a Matthew Dellavedova or anyone like that, but it’s definitely encouraging to see what they’ve done. I’m not quite as athletic as some other guys.”
Foy is the same size as the dogged Dellavedova, an unfashionable player who defied the critics to help Cleveland to an NBA title last year and is again attracting plenty of attention in the Bucks’ play-off series against the Toronto Raptors.
“Probably different in the positions and the way we play, but the way he has to use his shooting, his craftiness, because of his lack of athleticism. It’s something I want to follow,” Foy said.
“Because he can’t out-jump people or out-run people, you kind of want to use your head and your skills.”
Foy, a NSW junior representative, said he was happy with how well he had adjusted to the Waratah Basketball League, even though the Hunters are eighth with a 2-4 record.
The left-handed shooter led the team’s scoring with 20 points in an 84-59 loss to Hills Hornets and has scored 14 and 18 points in other games.
“It’s been good fun, a really good group of people. It’s definitely a learn-on-the-run type of thing.
“It’s just trying to adapt to the pace. It’s just a lot quicker, bigger bodies. I’m pretty happy with the way I’ve adjusted, but I’m still adjusting.
“I definitely want to go to college in the next couple of years. Division one would be the ultimate goal. Just anything to get over there. I definitely think I could get to that level.
“I’m just trying to get some exposure, and this is a pretty good league to get that.”