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Could Pendles have made the NBA?

Over the coming weeks, Scott Pendlebury will be looking to TeamUp with a few basketball enthusiasts around Melbourne to shoot hoops or maybe even play a bit of 3-on-3 street ball as part of the TeamUp 20 Day Challenge . Renowned as an outstanding junior basketballer, the question everyone wants to know is… could he have made the big time?

Australia has produced some exceptional basketball talent with names including Bogut, Gaze, Longley, Irving, Anstey, Mills… and Pendlebury?

“He definitely could have played a high level of basketball” – Patty Mills

It may seem a bit of a stretch until you consider that by 16 he had represented Australia in basketball and was well on his way to the big time, having been selected to join a 12-man AIS basketball squad. According to NBA superstar Patty Mills, Pendlebury could have made an international career had he stayed in the sport.

“Scott was someone I rated very highly, we had great battles against each other and it motivated me. He definitely could have played a high level of basketball,” Mills told the Daily Telegraph.

Mills, who has represented Australia and now plays for the San Antonio Spurs, was in fact initially left out of the 12-man squad and only received a call up when Pendlebury decided to leave the AIS to play footy; a brave move considering he’d only played three games in the previous four years.

“I just always said that I wanted to play a year of footy,” Pendlebury told the Daily Telegraph.

“I quit footy in under-12s and all my mates went down the football path and I was always in the basketball scene. I just really wanted to have that year 12, finish school with all my mates and play footy.”

Pendlebury grew up playing basketball in Sale before eventually playing for Eltham, but even when he went back to footy he maintained his love for shooting hoops.

“Even in that year I trained once a week with football and four or five times a week with basketball, shooting around or something by myself.”

It has been reported that he still shoots hoops on game day, even when he is interstate.

“It is a pretty long day when you are just waiting around for a game, so it is good to get outside, get some fresh air and loosen up the body a little bit,” Pendlebury told The Australian.

Pendlebury, a social media machine, often posts photos of himself at various street ball courts around Melbourne, and believes the basketball skills he developed during his youth have certainly enhanced his football ability.

“We have got a few boys who like basketball, so we just go and muck around,” he said.

“It is good to probably do another sport on your day off, things like that, just to mix it up. It transfers across to footy because you have a ball in your hand. It trains the brain.”

A sharp shooter from the three point line, Pendlebury has previously teamed up with both Patty Mills and Australian born NBA superstar Kyrie Irving while they were in the country, and is again on the lookout for a partner to shoot hoots with.

The streetball court at the Prahran bowl is Pendlebury’s favourite court but below are a few other you should definitely check out.

Top 10 Streetball courts in Melbourne

Prahran Park
Monash Parkville
Noone St Commission Flats
Carlton Gardens
Snake Alley Hoop
F1 Pit Strait Court
North Melbourne Football Club
Victory Park
Carlton Flats

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