Australian Boomer Mark Worthington will stick with basketball. Despite a brief dalliance with the idea of playing Australian Rules Football, he will re-focus his efforts on his basketball career, as heads to Serbia for a professional contract.
The press release from Basketball Australia follows.
Basketball Australia has welcomed the news today that Australian Boomers team member Mark Worthington won’t be pursuing an opportunity to switch codes to Australian Rules football.
Worthington, a two-time Olympian as a basketballer who recently returned from London where he helped the Boomers to the Quarter Finals, trialled with the West Coast Eagles AFL team this week. Despite performing well and gaining praise from West Coast’s coaching staff, the Eagles decided not to proceed any further.
“I appreciate having been given a chance to meet with the Eagles and have them run me through my paces,” said Worthington. “I really enjoyed testing myself out at a different code, one that I enjoyed playing as a junior. Ultimately however making a switch of codes at this stage of my career was always going to be a longshot and they’ve decided not to proceed.
“I’m satisfied that I can now head over to my new club in Serbia and refocus on my basketball career. Basketball has been very good to me, providing a livelihood that has helped me support my family while pursuing a sport I’m passionate about.
“Basketball has given me the rare chance to be an Olympian twice now, which is something only a select few Australians can ever claim,” Worthington added. “I’ve scratched the AFL itch and now I can look toward this new international opportunity that basketball has presented to me.”
Chair of the Basketball Australia Board Scott Derwin welcomed the news that Worthington would continue his basketball career.
“Not only has Mark been a star of the national team and the NBL, but he has been an outstanding ambassador for basketball along with being an engaging personality,” Mr Derwin said.
“Mark Worthington is a valuable part of the Australian Boomers program and has been so for many years, representing his country at Commonwealth Games, World Championships and two Olympic Games, most recently in London.”