Delly-fever grips Maryborough Video

PROUD: Students at Maryborough Education Centre celebrate favourite son Matthew Dellavedova’s NBA championship win with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Picture: GLENN DANIELSMARYBOROUGH is revelling in a NBA championship win by favourite son Matthew Dellavedova.
Nanjing Night Net

As Delly’s Cleveland Cavaliers downed the Golden State Warriors in Monday’s game seven of the NBA finals, the eyes of thousands of locals were glued to TV screens in homes, work places, schools and watering holes across the central Victorian town.

Some were even granted the morning off work to watch the game, like Sally Neill, who is thepresident of the Maryborough District Association and a customer service officer at the Maryborough Sport and Leisure Centre.

The centre is home to the stadium that has boreDellavedova’s name since last year and where the Australian Boomers guard’sbasketball career started.

Neill said while the hype accompanying the point guard’s NBA finals appearance had not quite reached the fever pitch it hadlast year when the Cavs were beaten by the Warriors, the whole town had still been united behind their hero.

She said that could be attributedto Delly having a less prominent on-court role than he had last year, when injuries sidelined some of Cleveland’s stars, including Melbourne-born guard Kyrie Irving.

“But we don’t care about that, he’s still a champion to us,” Neill said.

“It would be great to see him top it off with an Olympic medal.”

While Dellavedova’s hard-nosed style has drawn criticism in the past from some NBA coaches and commentators, Neill was having none of that on Monday.

She praised Delly as a “great role model, a gentleman and all-round good bloke”.

It was a view shared across town by staff at the Maryborough Education Centre, where Dellavedova’smum Leanne is a teacher and his aunt Nicole Fenton is librarian.

His cousin Mitchell Fenton is also on placement at the school as an education support officer.

Principal David Sutton said the school had been struck by “Delly-fever” two years running, with students following Monday’s game

“We’ve been really proud of him and his achievements,” he said.

“When you have known Matthew since he was an infant, which I have and seen him progress into the young person he is, he’s an outstanding young man and very, very humble.

“Every time he comes back to Maryborough he comes back to the school and runs clinic for the kids at the basketball association.

“He is always right on the message about hard work and putting in and being a good person.”

Dellavedova was a student at the centre, formerly Maryborough Regional College, until year 10 beforeleaving for the AIS on a scholarship.

Sutton said it was an exceptional story for someone from Maryborough to make it all the way to the NBA finals.

“But in a way when you know himit’s notthat (exceptional), he’s just overcome every hurdle along the way,” he said.

“I imagine he’ll have an outstanding career as a basketball coach, which is what I would see him possibly doing.

“He’s a deep thinker and a clever bloke.”

Sutton jokedif it was his call he’d declare a school holiday to celebrate his achievement.

“That’s beyond my power, but if the trophy makes it way back here, which we hope it does, there’ll be big celebrations.Not just at Maryborough Education Centre but they’ll be right across the town,” he said.

Central Goldfields Shire CEO Mark Johnston – a family friends of the Dellavedova’s – said Mathew’s achievement was a lesson in “persistence and attitude”.

“Everyone who knows him obviously knows he is a terrific basketballer, but more importantly he’s a quality person to go with it,” he said.

“He’s been a great ambassador for us, he’s put Maryborough on the world stage in a way we couldn’t otherwise have achieved.

“I think everyone in town would have had an interest and followed him very, very closely.”

Johnston said council would likely consider further civic recognition of Dellavedova, who is just the sixth Australian to win an NBA championship ring.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


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