Matthew Nielsen

Matthew is a NSW junior who went on to achieve ultimate success internationally for his country. Some would say that Matthew was one out of our greatest basketballers to come through this state. He commenced playing basketball as a U/16 junior at Penrith Panthers in 1993. In the same year he represented NSW in the U/16 Men Metropolitan State Team. In 1994 he represented the U/18 Men Metropolitan State Team and was named Junior Player of the Year.
His first glimpse at what it took to become a professional basketball player came in 1995 when the Sydney Kings took him on board as a development player to develop his skills with the hope of turning him into someone with the capability to play for them and then potentially overseas. Shortly after, he moved to Canberra to attend the Australian Institute of Sport. Playing under some of the country’s best coaches would eventuate into some of the best years of his life.
Matthew added a Gold Medal to his resume early on his career when he took to the floor with the FIBA 1997 Under-21 Australian World Championship team.
In 1997, Matthew wanted to provide the Sydney Kings with his services once again and it didn’t take long for him to receive accolades. In his first proper year with the club he won the NBL Rookie of the Year award. In the space of nine seasons with the Sydney Kings, Matthew won Championships in 2003 and 2004. In the 2003 Championship year, Matthew was awarded the season MVP and Finals MVP. It went one better for him when he was awarded the Australian International Player of the Year in 2003.
He did what he wanted to do in this country and it was time for Matthew to expand his horizons and try his luck in Europe. For a talented player like him, he wanted to see if he could make a successful career abroad. In 2004, his professional career took a turn for the best. He represented PAOK Thessaloniki in Greece, Lietuvos Rytas in Lithuania, Valencia in Spain, Olympiacos in Greece and Khimki in Russia. In the 2009-10 season, Matt was named the Eurocup Finals MVP and was in the All Eurocup First Team. After 9 years playing against some of the best talent Europe had to offer, Matthew retired due to an expired contract in 2012-13. He packed up his bags and left Europe in 2013.
His distinguished Boomers career included some huge tournaments but there weren’t bigger moments than captaining his country in two Olympic Games, 2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London. He played in the 2004 Olympic team that went to Athens and won Gold Medals at the 2001 Goodwill Games, the 2003 FIBA Oceanian Championship, and the 2005 FIBA Oceanian Championship.
On the 10th of October 2013, for Matthew’s service to the Sydney Kings and moving on to bigger and better breaks, he was named in the Sydney Kings 25th Anniversary Team and was inducted into the King’s Wall of Legends in 2014.

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