HORSHAM basketball product Mitch Creek has secured his future by signing with new National Basketball League franchise South East Melbourne Phoenix.
Creek is currently playing in America in the G-League with the Long Island Nets – the NBA’s development league.
His signing with the Phoenix in Melbourne is dependent on whether or not he secures a contract to play in the NBA.
The forward becomes the Phoenix’s first marquee signing. He has signed a two-year deal with a player option for a third should his bid to play in the NBA not come to fruition.
Speaking to the Mail-Times from New York, Creek said he was enjoying his time with Long Island.
Creek is averaging 14.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game in what has been a fruitful start to life in America. His side has won seven of its first 10 games.
“It has been an experience but I’m slowly getting used to it over here and becoming more accustomed to the team and how to play,” he said.
“I’m chipping away. I find that I have patches in games that I play really well and other patches where I’m a bit of a silent leader. The way I play in Australia is pretty similar to the way I play over here.”
Creek said he was still confident of earning some time in the NBA, with 10-day contracts to an NBA franchise an option for some G-League players.
“I feel like I’m holding my own very strongly and rustling a few feathers, and you never know – I'm just trying to do the right thing,” he said.
“From what I’ve been told it’s normally after Christmas that teams give out a few contracts here and there.
“There’s a showcase in Las Vegas where we play in a mini-tournament and that’s a big event and hopefully I can put myself in a really good position for those 10-day contracts.
“I’m definitely someone that thinks steps ahead and I try to make sure that I have contingency plans. I try and make sure I give myself every chance to better my career and further myself on and off the court.
“I’m always looking ahead at where I can be playing.”
Creek completed a pre-season training camp with the Brooklyn Nets after departing the Adelaide 36ers after eight years at the club.
Creek said the move from Adelaide to New York has had its challenges
“There are certainly differences and things that make it a bit harder but the club has been fantastic, putting us up in great accommodation and they take care of everything,” he said.
“The living here is very simple but the weather is freezing and that’s one thing I struggle with a lot.
“People seem to look at the G-League and think of it as a bit of a grind, but if you play the right way, do the right things and are here to get better, it’s not bad at all.
“You are in front of the right people every single day.”