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Ryan Broekhoff details his transition to the Dallas Mavericks, idolising Dirk Nowtizki and his future goals

Sporting News logo Sporting News 23/05/2019
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Ryan Broekhoff didn't take the usual path to the NBA. He spent time in college before heading overseas where he played in Europe, Russia and Turkey.

The route eventually landed him a spot on the Dallas Mavericks roster and in his first season, he showed his value when on the court.

He averaged a little over 10 minutes per game in 42 appearances while scoring four points per game on 45% shooting from the field and a scorching 40% from beyond the arc.

The Aussie, who recently ruled himself out of the upcoming FIBA World Cup, spoke about his transition to the Mavericks, idolizing a teammate growing up and his goals for the future in an in-depth sit down with CloseUp360 .

"Everyone takes different roads in their basketball careers. Some guys go straight out of college and some guys, like myself, go over to Europe and continue to develop and grow and then make the transition over," Broekhoff said.

"I'm just so thankful that the Mavs have given me the opportunity and I'm hoping to repay them the best way I can.

"The experience of playing overseas and in Russia and Turkey are very unique and something that I'm very happy that I did get the opportunity to do.

"It helped turn me from a college student into a full independent man. Being able to live and work in a foreign country that doesn't speak English as it's first language, just being able to survive and being able to adapt to new cities and find your way around and find ways to be comfortable and I'm very lucky that I had a supportive wife that travelled with me and really helped take care of me."

Watch the full interview here:

Everyone grows up looking up to a certain player and emulating their playing style, for most however they don't end up on the same team as their childhood hero. It's something Broekhoff hopes his teammates don't find out about for one particular reason.

"I grew up idolizing Dirk, was always sort of an outside shooter and what he could do at his size is something else so hopefully, he doesn't see this or the rest of the guys, I'll probably get a little bit of stick from it.

"But I grew up watching Dirk and tried to emulate him a little bit so for that to all come full circle and now I get to spend a season with him and learn from him and watch him and see what it takes to have a career and not just be good but sustain that greatness for such a period of time. Just going to try and learn and help my game by watching him.

"He's been a really great welcoming presence, he's got a big personality. He challenged me to a shooting competition the other day but I wasn't ready for it."

People are often critical about certain plays from Australian players, but Broekhoff defended the way he and others from Down Under go about it.

"I think the way Australian's are raised, the opportunities are so small we have to fight for everything we get. Nothing is sort of given to anyone, it's really who works the hardest and who wants it the most and that's why you see guys like Dellavedova and Patty Mills putting their body on the line, taking charges, diving on loose balls.

"Some people over here have criticized and called them dirty players, that's our way of showing that we want it more than anyone else. We might not be the most athletic, the most talented or the most skilled, but we will give 110%. We will do whatever we need to do, sacrifice our body, anything to help the team win and it's sort of the Australian way. The Australian battler we call them, it's just ingrained within the Australian community and the Australian culture."

Many players want to shatter NBA records, Broekhoff has one simple goal while in the NBA; elevate his team back to championship level.

"My goals for my time here in America are pretty simple, I just want to help the team be successful and improve on previous seasons and get back to where we hope to be, in competing for championships.

"Off the court, I'm at that age recently married, it's probably time, just got a puppy. Obviously, want to have a family and build a home with my wife. Not that we're in any rush but hopefully we can sort of just stay pretty much in one place and really build a home and build a family together."

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