As an Indigenous Australian playing in the NBA, Australians have always cheered on San Antonio Spurs guard, Patty Mills. Now that he is a NBA champion, Australians are still cheering him on but are also wondering if he could have been a star Australian Football League player. Aussie Rules Football is an unique sport which is hard to explain but thankfully the video below explains more:
Mills was a talented footballer as a teenager but choose to play basketball instead once he got a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport. Former coach of the AFL’s Sydney Swans, Paul Roos, explains:
Ex-Sydney coach Roos recalled how Sydney’s former skipper Stuart Maxfield had approached Mills who was showing flair in both sports. “He might have won the medal at the (junior) championships for NSW so he was quite a talented footballer. At that stage when Stuart Maxfield spoke to him I think he had just accepted an Australian Institute of Sport basketball scholarship in Canberra. I’ll bet he’s glad now. He’s joined elite company today.”
Now it is not on the same level as Allen Iverson playing football in high school, but watch a young Mills play Australian football below:
Good on ya, Patty.
Thanks to r/NBA for finding this amazing video.