Newley returns to Turkey and Besiktas

Newley returns to Turkey and Besiktas

Olympian Brad Newley has overcome a knee injury and will train with his Turkish club side Besiktas this week, writes Boti Nagy for The Adelaide Advertiser.

Home to rehabilitate his injured knee, the man Adelaide fans desperately want wearing 36ers' red is excited about the possibility of winning the Turkish championship.

Adelaide-born Beijing Olympian Brad Newley suffered a torn meniscus when a Besiktas teammate fell across his leg and is back in town - briefly - following "cut and scrape" surgery in Istanbul.

"The club said: 'You can go home for rehab' so I jumped at that," Newley said. "My dad rang (36ers assistant coach) Richard Hill and the club's been great in giving me access to their facilities, strength trainer and physio.

"This time of year, it can be really difficult finding facilities so I'm very grateful."

Newley, 24 and 198cm, said Besiktas was sitting in third place in the Turkish league after losing 92-100 this week to arch rival Fenerbahce in the battle for outright second place.

"I plan to be back for practice on January 6 and to play again on January 9," the NBL's 2005 Rookie of the Year and its Best Sixth Man said.

Playing with Townsville Crocodiles, Newley also was MVP of the AllStar game that year as he quickly established himself as one of Australia's premier players.

A Commonwealth Games gold medal and world championship selection followed in 2006 and he was drafted by the NBA's Houston Rockets in 2007.

That opened up opportunities in Greece where he spent two years before joining Besiktas.

Former 36ers captain Brett Maher also played there.

Newley said the buzz for basketball in Turkey - which next year hosts the world championship - was no myth.

"The (world championship) draw was great, having the heavies of world basketball in Turkey," he said. "Crowds in regional centres have really picked up and there's genuine excitement about it (the worlds)."

For Newley, his focus is returning quickly to full fitness and helping Besiktas to a national title.

Adelaide fans no doubt will see their most prominent current basketball export in those Sixer colours, just not for a while.