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PHOTOS | Full steam ahead for Mitch Creek as he heads off to the NBA

Mitch Creek with his St Brigid's College principal Peter Gutteridge and school captains Seb Dalgleish, Tayla Nagorcka, Gerard Natividad and Mia Panozzo during a visit to the school.

Mitch Creek with his St Brigid’s College principal Peter Gutteridge and school captains Seb Dalgleish, Tayla Nagorcka, Gerard Natividad and Mia Panozzo during a visit to the school.

By DEAN LAWSON
Horsham basketball talent Mitch Creek, 26, has every right to take a moment to put the feet up, relax and contemplate his achievements.
The athletic national star has, after all, already forged an award-winning career in Australia’s premier professional competition, is in demand in elite European basketball and seems to have an open door to wearing the colours of his country.
On top of that, he has now captured the attention of the most elite basketball fraternity on the planet by signing with Brooklyn Nets in America’s showbiz National Basketball Association.
It all reflects an amazing progression for a player who cut his basketball teeth in Horsham in a lonely corner of regional Victoria and went directly from the Wimmera to elite levels.
But a time to put the feet up? No chance. Creek is far from content with his achievements and considers his opportunity in the United States as a simple ‘foot in the door’.

Mitch Creek at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with former coach Owen Hughan.

Mitch Creek at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with former coach Owen Hughan.


The swathes of perspiration, heavy breathing and momentary wild-eyed expression born from intense concentration as he took a moment from a ‘casual’ game of one-on-one with Adelaide 36ers team-mate Tyson Hoffmann, told the story.
Creek, in a rare visit back home last week, passionately revealed on the stands in Horsham Basketball Stadium, with his father Jeff and childhood mentor Owen Hughan nearby, that he marched to a goal-setting drum.
Mitch Creek at Horsham Primary School.

Mitch Creek at Horsham Primary School.


Delightfully affable but exuding a confidence born from professional sport, he said he simply refused to be satisfied while he had more to do in his sporting career.
“The simple goal is to always be better today than you were yesterday,” he said.
“Every season, every month, every week and even every day – it’s about setting goals and always asking questions and learning. I ask questions every day and every time I learn something I improve myself. It’s about setting goals, chipping away and understanding a need to be better every time you step onto a court.
“Let’s be honest. The odds are stacked against you. I never thought I would have a chance to play in an NBA team. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to be successful.”
Creek, already an established star with Adelaide 36ers, has signed with Brooklyn Nets on the back of strong performances with Dallas Mavericks in the NBA’s summer league.

Mitch Creek training at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with Adelaide 36s team mate Tyson Hoffmann.

Mitch Creek training at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with Adelaide 36s team mate Tyson Hoffmann.

Developments, while far from shoring up a dream to play in the best competition in the world, has put him tantalisingly close. He needs to impress the Nets’ coaching hierarchy at a training camp in late September and in a pre-season build-up so he can successfully navigate his way through a contracted-player selection system.
“I just wanted to get a foot in the door. It’s the first step on a new path and now I’m at the door, I need to get in the room,” Creek said.
“This involves always being the first there for everything and being the last to leave, to doing the extra sessions.
“I need to be the best version of myself I can be. I’m just looking forward to getting over there to show what I can do.
“I want to know that I’ve done everything I can do to be as good as I can be today. It’s then about being a little bit better tomorrow.”
Make it happen
Creek later expanded on his philosophies during visits to Horsham Primary School and St Brigid’s College, institutions he attended as a youngster, and Holy Trinity Lutheran College. In passing on his ‘make it happen’ approach to success, he shared a personal story about when he first started playing under-eights competition.
He explained that he initially rarely touched the ball because as a shy youngster he always had his hands in his pockets. His mum’s solution was to sew up his basketball shorts pockets, freeing up his hands.
The truth is, successful or not in his foray into the NBA, Creek has set up his professional future in the sport.
Watching the man in action close-up provides insight into his athleticism.
Considered a ‘small’ forward, shooting guard or swingman in elite basketball, he measures in about 196 centimetres and a lean 98 kilograms and moves with an ease that belies his speed and power.
If he wasn’t on a basketball court it would be easy to imagine him running onto the MCG in the AFL or warming up with decathletes in international track and field competition.

Mitch Creek at a basketball clinic at Horsham Basketball Stadium.

Mitch Creek at a basketball clinic at Horsham Basketball Stadium.

A busy national and international sporting timetable has meant Creek rarely returns home, but he has spent the past week in the Wimmera helping Horsham Amateur Basketball Association, rekindling memories and providing inspiration.
“It’s really the first time I’ve been back in Horsham for seven or eight years,” he said.
“I was driving through the streets getting flashbacks about cycling in the underpass and travelling to May Park.
“It’s great to catch up and I’m looking forward to going to the local footy and having a pie.
“Importantly, I’m here to try to spark more interest in basketball. I understand that I can provide inspiration for others and I’m happy to do that.
“Yet at the same time, I know that I’m like anyone else who after work goes home and sits on the couch.”
Creek has also won selection in an Australian Boomers Squad set to prepare for FIBA World Cup qualifying games in Qatar on September 13 and Kazakhstan in Bendigo on September 17.

Mitch Creek at a basketball clinic at Horsham Basketball Stadium.

Mitch Creek at a basketball clinic at Horsham Basketball Stadium.

Mitch Creek at a basketball clinic at Horsham Basketball Stadium.

Mitch Creek at a basketball clinic at Horsham Basketball Stadium.

Mitch Creek with his St Brigid's College principal Peter Gutteridge during a visit to the school.

Mitch Creek with his St Brigid’s College principal Peter Gutteridge during a visit to the school.

Mitch Creek speaking to St Brigid's College and Ss Micahel and John's PS students during a visit to the school.

Mitch Creek speaking to St Brigid’s College and Ss Michael and John’s PS students during a visit to the school.

Mitch Creek speaking to St Brigid's College and Ss Micahel and John's PS students during a visit to the school.

Mitch Creek speaking to St Brigid’s College and Ss Michael and John’s PS students during a visit to the school.

Mitch Creek and Tyson Hoffmann talk to Horsham Primary School students.

Mitch Creek and Tyson Hoffmann talk to Horsham Primary School students.

Mitch Creek at Horsham Primary School.

Mitch Creek at Horsham Primary School.

Mitch Creek training at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with Adelaide 36s team mate Tyson Hoffmann.


Mitch Creek training at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with Adelaide 36s team mate Tyson Hoffmann.


Mitch Creek training at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with Adelaide 36s team mate Tyson Hoffmann.

Mitch Creek training at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with Adelaide 36s team mate Tyson Hoffmann.

Mitch Creek training at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with Adelaide 36s team mate Tyson Hoffmann.

Mitch Creek training at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with Adelaide 36s team mate Tyson Hoffmann.

Mitch Creek training at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with Adelaide 36s team mate Tyson Hoffmann.

Mitch Creek training at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with Adelaide 36s team mate Tyson Hoffmann.

Mitch Creek training at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with Adelaide 36s team mate Tyson Hoffmann.

Mitch Creek training at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with Adelaide 36s team mate Tyson Hoffmann.

Mitch Creek training at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with Adelaide 36s team mate Tyson Hoffmann.

Mitch Creek training at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with Adelaide 36s team mate Tyson Hoffmann.

Mitch Creek at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with former coach Owen Hughan.

Mitch Creek at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with former coach Owen Hughan.

Mitch Creek at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with former coach Owen Hughan.

Mitch Creek at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with former coach Owen Hughan.

Mitch Creek at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with former coach Owen Hughan.

Mitch Creek at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with former coach Owen Hughan.

Mitch Creek at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with former coach Owen Hughan.

Mitch Creek at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with former coach Owen Hughan.

Mitch Creek at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with former coach Owen Hughan and Mitch's father Jeff.

Mitch Creek at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with former coach Owen Hughan and Mitch’s father Jeff.

Mitch Creek at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with former coach Owen Hughan and Mitch's father Jeff.

Mitch Creek at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Wednesday with former coach Owen Hughan and Mitch’s father Jeff.

TAKE TWO: Horsham basketball star Mitch Creek maintains a strong link with his hometown. In 2008, photographer Paul Carracher captured Creek, then a rising 16-year-old talent with Horsham Hornets, in action with primary school youngster Connor Healey. The pair, with Creek now 26 and heading off to American basketball, and Healey, 18, and these days a footballer, caught up to recreate the shot last week.

TAKE TWO: Horsham basketball star Mitch Creek maintains a strong link with his hometown. In 2008, photographer Paul Carracher captured Creek, then a rising 16-year-old talent with Horsham Hornets, in action with primary school youngster Connor Healey. The pair, with Creek now 26 and heading off to American basketball, and Healey, 18, and these days a footballer, caught up to recreate the shot last week.

The entire August 8, 2018 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

Short URL: http://www.theweeklyadvertiser.com.au/?p=64380

Posted on Aug 8 2018

Posted by on Aug 8 2018. Filed under FEATURED, Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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