Gosford basketballer, Matt Kenyon, has been drafted into the NBA G_League.
The former Gosford City Rebels’ Junior got the callup to confirm that he’d been drafted as pick number 19 for the Capital City Go-Go’s in late October, and the 21-year-old has since made the move to the United States to pursue a career in the most lucrative basketball league in the world.
His drafting was the realisation of a lifelong dream almost gone awry after a dislocated knee cast a long shadow over the young gun’s prospects. Having practically grown up at Breakers Indoor Sports Stadium, Kenyon’s future in the sport seemed all but assured.
Interest in the 6.5 foot tall shooting guard, who had represented Australia at the Under 20’s level, peaked in 2016 when he hit the nation’s semi-pro league, and by July that year, his prowess on the court saw him sign a contract with the Australian NBL’s Brisbane Bullets.
It was a solid start for Kenyon, a launching pad to potentially bigger and better things, but at the season’s end he dislocated his knee, and the injury seemed to do as much damage to his career as it did his body. At the time of his injury, he was still a virtual unknown, and re-entering the NBL proved harder than before, with teams hesitant to take a chance on him after such a severe injury kept him off the court for over a year.
While devastated at the time, Kenyon believes everything happens for a reason, and after taking some time to reflect and reassess his goals, health and fitness, he came back with an even greater love for the game and more determined than ever to get back onto the court. “It was incredibly frustrating not being able to re-enter the NBL at the time. “I understood why, but it felt like my body had betrayed me.
“My career’s momentum had just come to a complete stop and my options were pretty limited, but as corny as it sounds, you learn more about yourself in times of crisis then you ever do in periods of success.
“I knew I wasn’t going to give up, not when I’d only just started, so in a way, getting hurt really helped ignite my drive. “It helped me mature and taught me how to focus, ” Kenyon said. He joined the NBL 1 SemiPro League with Dandenong, and after turning the right heads, he was invited to trial with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018. Using that trial to get his name back out there, Kenyon also took up the offer to attend training camps with the Los Angeles Clippers and Chicago Bulls, determined to network his way back to where his career left off, and that hard work and sacrifice has paid off, with the Go-Go’s a second chance many athletes in his situation never get, and he’s certainly not squandering the opportunity.
“It’s a foot in the door, but it’s just the start. “I have big goals and I’ll need to work even harder to achieve them, ” Kenyon said. Kenyon will have his work cut out for him as despite impressing during his time abroad, he’s still a virtual unknown in the states, and coming off the back of a semipro career, his drafting did raise some eyebrows. Time will tell if the promising young prospect will carve out the career he’s been chasing, but in the meantime, Kenyon said he won’t be taking himself too seriously as he hones in on that career momentum he’s been hungry for.
Source: Media statement, Oct 27 Tanner Massey, Capital City Go-Go Interview, Nov 11 Matt Kenyon, Capital City Go-Go Dilon Luke, Journalist