Home » ‘The NBL is so much better than college’: Why Alex Toohey chose the Sydney Kings over Gonzaga | Sporting News Australia

‘The NBL is so much better than college’: Why Alex Toohey chose the Sydney Kings over Gonzaga | Sporting News Australia

One of Australia’s most promising young players, Alex Toohey has been a revelation for the Sydney Kings this season, impressing fans, teammates, and coaches alike as the Next Star for the reigning back-to-back champions. 

But it wasn’t too long ago that Toohey was meant to leave these shores, having initially committed to NCAA powerhouse Gonzaga. 

According to Toohey, his change of heart came from a number of factors, but he now has no doubt that it was the right decision, telling Josh Garlepp that the NBL is miles ahead of college basketball on the latest episode of Just Bricks. 

Why Alex Toohey chose NBL over college

When Toohey first announced he was headed to Gonzaga, many Australian basketball fans questioned if he had considered the NBL route. 

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Those questions were then answered once Toohey defected, choosing instead to join the Sydney Kings. 

For Toohey, a change in circumstance resulted in his decision to stay local, but it was definitely the right choice for him. 

“I think just like the feel of myself being in this league and playing against grown men, I just feel so confident knowing that I’m young in the league but still holding my own. So I feel confident from that,” Toohey said.

“Then just kind of looking at college now and just seeing the NBL is so much better than college. The top teams would destroy college teams and just the way we play, I think it’s just helping me if I’m going to make that jump.

“I think getting into that early, the process for me was a tricky one. I had a lot of options with colleges and then narrowed down to Gonzaga. So that was the college that I was planning to head to, and then some things changed there.

“Some people stayed around, some people left, so I wasn’t too sure about that, and then the Kings kind of opened their arms and presented the opportunity to come here and there was an opportunity for me to play a lot of minutes.

“That was something that I was excited for, so I made that decision and kind of haven’t looked back.”

Since joining the Kings, Toohey has averaged 7.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, finding a role amongst a squad still pushing for the finals.

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Being able to play meaningful minutes for a team such as this has been invaluable for the youngster, even considering that the Kings haven’t exactly performed up to expectations this season. 

“I think obviously different games, different lineups, playing different roles, that’s something I’m used to,” he said.

“Being able to grow up, being skilled across the board, being able to do pretty much everything a basketball player needs to do and then having the coach be able to put me in different positions, I just feel comfortable trying to help the team, being able to make the open shot, create off the dribble.

“If I see my man closing out too hard, I can get by him, and then defensively being able to guard different positions and kind of be a point of attack defender to try and shut down some of the best players in the league.”

WATCH ALEX TOOHEY ON JUST BRICKS NOW