Maryborough’s Matt Johnston secures spot with Bendigo’s NBL1 squad

Former Maryborough Blazer Matt Johnston made his NBL1 debut last weekend with the Bendigo Braves.

After an electric summer season with the Maryborough Blazers, Matt Johnston has landed himself a spot on the Bendigo Braves’ NBL1 squad for 2019.

Johnston played nine of 13 Country Basketball League (CBL) Blazers games, contributing 132 points at an average of 14.5 points a match.

The Maryborough product led the division’s total three-pointers made for a majority of the season with a total of 30.

Johnston’s athleticism has translated across codes in previous years, playing football in both the Bendigo Football Netball League and more recently the North Central League.

His footy boots will get a rest this winter however, with the Braves kicking off their inaugural NBL1 season last weekend with a 72-69 victory over the Melbourne Tigers.

Johnston said the win was “a nice way to start the season”.

“It’s only the start, but obviously the Tigers are probably one of the oldest clubs in the state, they’re always really strong so to beat them at their court was a really pleasing result for us,” he said.

NBL1, formally known as the SEABL (South East Australian Basketball League) is a semi- professional basketball league comprised of teams from NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT.

Johnston said he’s happy to be back playing elite basketball, although he was shocked to make the team after an eight-year break.

For more on this story see the Back Page of The Advertiser, Tuesday, April 9

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