Brave and brilliant Ben, photos and story, Peter Argent.
Courage plays an important part in all sporting pursuits. Whether it’s the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation.
In the Sydney Kings exciting three-point win over the 36ers on Sunday afternoon, Williamstown lad Ben Madgen epitomised many of these characteristics.“Physical courage”, in team sport, is the ability in the face of physical pain and hardship to still continue to play a role for the squad.
During the opening quarter of the clash at the Adelaide Arena, Madgen dislocated his shoulder, when, in general play, he crashed to the ground trying to win the ball, and when an opponent fell on him, he took the full weight.
After getting strapped up and returning to the court in the second term, Madgen played a pivotal role in the Kings important away victory.
“It’s great to come back to Adelaide and win, especially because of what happened in Perth, and we wanted to finish our four road games strongly. And this win means we finish the trip with a three and one record,” Madgen said, in an exclusive chat just after the game.
“The shoulder was dislocated, but it did pop back in and I played the remainder of the game, with adrenalin helping get me through.
“Right now it’s sore, but we have to see how it recovers in the next couple of days. I’ve already had a reconstruction on my left shoulder previously, so I have some understanding of the issues.
“I’ll probably be able to continue playing this season, although there are some loose ligaments, but I should be able to get through, and then have an operation at season’s end, if needed.
“I had my arm out-stretched to braced myself, and was caught in the wrong position. I was pleased it went back in easily, so I could help the boys get a win.”
The better team all afternoon, Sydney held on for a three point victory, 88-85.
Despite spending a large portion of the first half on the pine, Madgen still played a pivotal role in the Kings victory, with 14 points, five rebounds, a couple of steals, an assist and a block.
But it will not be the statistics Madgen will be remembered for. It will be his courage to overcome pain and still be a strong contributor for the Kings that will be etched in the minds of the many patrons watching the contest.
Ben is the second oldest of Williamstown residents Gene and his wife Deb Madgen’s children. His older sister, former Barossa District premiership netballer Carly, was in the crowd watching her brother’s heroics.
A number of Ben’s old mates, including ’12 Bulldogs premiership footballers Michael Taylor and Heath Commane, were also interested spectators.
In career best form, Madgen is seen as a big chance to be selected in the “All Stars” clash on December 22, back at the Adelaide Area, if he recovers sufficiently from the shoulder injury.
Madgen is currently averaging 19.4 points per game, with a season high 30 points against New Zealand in early November.
Before winning a place on the Kings roster, Madgen excelled for four years playing for Augusta State University (ASU) in the American College system.
Back in 2008/09, Madgen earned All-America honours after leading ASU to a second consecutive trip to the Elite Eight, and second straight Final Four appearance.
He was voted the Peach Belt Conference Tournament’s Most Valuable Player after leading ASU to the PBC Tournament Championship on March 8, 2009.
Ben was also awarded the NBL’s Rookie of the Year after his efforts with the Kings in the 2010/11 season.