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Where are they now: Ben Madgen

9 days ago

6 mins read

Since the Sydney Kings first hit the hardwood in 1988, numerous great players have sported the mighty purple and gold uniform.

To recognise and reconnect with those club legends, the Kings have launched a 'Where are they now' series, profiling what former stars of Sydney are up to.

To tip off the series, the club chatted with former Kings captain Ben Madgen - who played 139 games for the Hoops Capital side from 2010-2015.

During that tenure in the harbour city, which came after a four-year stint at Augusta State University in the United States, Madgen averaged 14.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and two assists per contest.

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Following this in May 2015, Madgen exercised an option in his contract to play overseas - seeing him ply this trade with Royal Basketball Club Pepinster (Belgium), BC Lietkabelis, Rytas Vilnius (both Lithuania) and Crailsheim Merlins (Germany) before eventually returning to Australia to sign with South East Melbourne for NBL20, which proved to be the last season of his professional career.

"My family had some health challenges at the end of the 2019/20 season, so it was time for me to put my family first and focus on my two boys Xavi and Mack and supporting my wife Bria through the next period of our lives," said the 2013 Sino-Australia Challenge Boomers squad member, who labels the Kings as his 'home-club'.

"I was able to spend quality time with my two sons for the next 9-12 months without the pressure of playing professional sport and the travel that comes with that schedule."

 
 
 
 
 
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The now 38-year-old then started to consider what career path was next for him and decided to join Charity Bounce as their corporate partnerships manager.

"This was a great introduction to the business world for me, after doing my MBA (Masters of Business Administration) at Macquarie Graduate School of Management while at the Kings," said Madgen, who explained the Kings also encouraged him to do an internship at QBE with Justin Papps, to help prepare him for life after basketball.

"This allowed me to try out the business world, which I've always been keen on, while also giving back to the community and staying involved in basketball - it really ticked all the boxes."

The Williamstown-born talent stayed in that role for nine months before getting a call 'out of the blue' by another former King, Brad Rosen.

"Brad asked if I'd like to get back into the basketball scene and at the time, I thought my next career move would be into the corporate world," the 2013 All-NBL First-Team player with the Kings said.

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"After chatting further with Brad and meeting the board and the community at the City of Sydney Basketball Association, I was sold on the amazing opportunity with the Comets - taking over from Paul Mellott, who was leaving after 19 years to go back home to Melbourne.

"Chatting about it with my wife, we thought it was a perfect spot for me - as we both agreed for our family construct at the time, me going into a time-consuming corporate role like her wasn't the best idea, so I took on their development officer role."

Madgen was only in that position for one month before a reshuffle at Comets saw him also become the association's CEO - a role he still holds to this day.

"I've not been in those two roles for close to 12 months and am absolutely loving it," Madgen said, who loves that everyone is willing to chip in and help for the greater good at Comets.

"During my playing days, I was always passionate about the community and to be able to keep giving back to that, while focusing on other aspects in this diverse role.

"There's no better joy than getting on the court and seeing that joy in the kids' faces, as well as creating pathways and opportunities for them to chase their dreams."

Madgen, who regularly attends Kings matches at Qudos Bank Arena with his family, loves the direction of the whole Hoops Capital organisation - especially with his younger sister Tess recently penning a deal with the Flames.

"When I was first recruited to the Kings in 2010 it was amazing, with so many people involved in the club who I'm still close with to this day," said Madgen, who is a previous Kings 'Ring of Honour' nominee.

"The ownership group and everyone involved made this a really special time for basketball in Sydney with the Kings being back in the competition and building the program to be a powerhouse once again. 

"In particular, I love the way they've engaged the past players and the culture they've created.

"Obviously the success on the court, from the Kings' side of things, has been incredible and for Tess to now move to Sydney and be a part of all this with the Flames, is super exciting - our family is over the moon."

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