Moment basketball star reveals he only signed with his club because he thinks Wimbledon is played on their home court in MELBOURNE before his coach corrects him: ‘Australian Open, bro!’
A star basketball player in Australia’s NBL competition has been left embarrassed after he revealed he only signed for his Aussie club because he believed Wimbledon is played on their home court in Melbourne.
Gary Browne is an import player for the South East Melbourne Phoenix in the NBL, who signed for the club for the 2022/23 season.
Confusion reigned after South East Melbourne NBL player Gary Browne (right) revealed that he signed for the club because Wimbledon was played in their home arena
He played a match-winning role in Saturday’s ‘Throwdown’ match against cross-town rivals Melbourne United and fronted media after the 78-72 win at John Cain Arena.
John Cain Arena is also home to the show court for the Australian Open tennis tournament.
Browne was asked how he liked playing in front of large Aussie crowds after more than 5000 fans turned out for the Throwdown match.
His response was supposed to be a huge reveal, but ended up being anything but.
‘To be honest with you I have played in a lot of places and big places and I’ve travelled around the world and I have played on big stages,’ Browne said.
‘But one of the main reasons, they [coach and teammates] don’t know, but I signed is because the arena here is a big arena. What I found out is they play the Wimbledon tournament here.’
Phoenix coach Simon Mitchell quickly interjected: ‘Australian Open, bro. We’re not in England.’
Nick Kyrgios went on a giant-slaying run to reach his maiden Grand Slam final at Wimbledon this year, where he fell to champion Novak Djokovic
Barty kisses the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after winning the 2022 Australian Open final against Danielle Collins of the United States
‘Anyways, I ain’t even mad,’ an embarrassed Browne Jnr laughed.
‘Playing in the big arena with our fans is something I am looking forward [to] every time. I love playing at home.’
Browne’s full name is Gary Browne Ramírez and he is a Puerto Rican professional basketball player who was schooled in Jacksonville, Florida before playing at West Virginia University.
Despite being eligible for the 2015 NBA Draft, Browne went unselected. The 29-year-old point guard has played in leagues around the world including Puerto Rico, Turkey, Italy and also represents the Puerto Rico national basketball team.
The win over Melbourne was a huge turnaround for the Phoenix after they were thrashed by 26 points by the New Zealand Breakers just two days before across the ditch in a performance Mitchell called ‘trash’.
‘It was a lot better [tonight], I wasn’t happy at all with the performance in New Zealand,’ he said.
Browne under pressure from Xavier Rathan-Mayes during the round nine NBL match between South East Melbourne Phoenix and Melbourne United at John Cain Arena
Trey Kell III and Gary Browne of the Phoenix pose for a photo after the round 8 NBL match between South East Melbourne Phoenix and Illawarra Hawks at John Cain Arena
‘Credit to them, they were amazing, but we were really bad. I think it was a personal pride thing. We watched some video before we come onto the floor of us letting them blow by us, prick at the personal pride of some of the guys to make sure they were on point.
‘Some of the guys carried injuries into the game, but there are no excuses once you are on the floor. It can’t happen, what happened in New Zealand.’
The match was soured somewhat by an incident in the crowd that saw two men ejected from the stadium and several children left in tears.