Sydney’s Secret Weapon
Thirty-four-year-old former Olympian basketballer and Albanian coach Dunedin-born Mark Dickel recently played at point guard for the Sydney Kings. The Sydney Morning Herald asked: “Is it a publicity stunt or the ultimate act of desperation from a team trying to break a 13-game losing streak?” It wasn’t the first time NBL fans have seen the feisty New Zealander. Dickel played for the Victoria Titans in 21 and 22 before heading to Europe. Dickel said before the game against Townsville in Sydney: “I’m just another one of the guys who is trying to help. I’m not feeling any pressure – in fact, if anything, this has been a breath of fresh air to be in a new environment where everybody is speaking English.” Following the game, the Herald headlined: ‘Pain persists for sick Kings’ with the team losing 73-8, though Dickel, “made a good first impression with a three-pointer, lifting Sydney to an 18-17 lead” at the end of the first half.