The Eltham Wildcats are pleased to announce its second NBL1 Men’s signing for the 2021 season; the return of Ovie Magbegor.
Ovie has become a much-loved Wildcat over the past four years after playing his entire junior career with the Coburg Giants. Regularly selected into Victorian teams through his junior years, the power forward sought the opportunity to play at the Victorian Youth Championship level with Eltham once finishing U18’s with the Giants. “He (Ovie) was a dominant junior figure moving through the ranks. We love that he stayed with his club all the way through, as the Giants helped him to be the player he is; a player that is now an established NBL1 player” explained Head Coach Trevor Lee.
It was from the Giants, where Ovie headed to the University of West Georgia for a year. The strongly built 18 year old gave up the opportunity to pursue the AFL path after having a breakout year playing for the Calder Cannons, choosing the American pathway through College in basketball. Whilst his time at West Georgia lasted only a year, the Wildcats were very keen to see him join their ranks to ensure he could pursue the elite levels.
In the Big V at Youth Championship level, Ovie has been a dominant force in his four years finishing at above 50% from the field, but it is particularly on the defensive end where he has made a significant impact, a skill set that transitioned well to NBL1 in 2019. “We had injuries in the early parts of 2019, so Ovie received opportunity and he grabbed it with both hands, rising to the greater challenge that NBL1 provided” Lee reflected. “He went from being a rookie that was going to get a taste of it, to becoming a vital contributor. Naturally in 2021, we look forward to his role and responsibility taking a further step forward.”
Whilst playing NBL1 for Eltham, Ovie will also manage commitments in the new University Basketball League, which will operate over a short period of the season. The NBL1 season will tip off on Saturday April 17th when the Wildcats face the Ringwood Hawks at Eltham High School.
Eltham is a Foundation member of the NBL1, awarded a license in late 2018. NBL1 is the highest level sporting program available in Melbourne’s north-east for men and women. This program helps confirm basketball as the leading sport in the region both at junior and senior levels. With what is now a clearly defined pathway for members to progress from introductory through to the elite; members can pursue their dreams whilst wearing the famous red and black of the Eltham Wildcats Basketball Club.