Tag: Australian Football League

Hugh Greenwood

Former New Mexico guard signs with Australian Football League franchise

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In recent years the Australian Football League has taken a harder look at college basketball for talent, with the height and athleticism of some players being a good fit for the sport. Former Morehead State forward Jason Holmes saw action at the AFL’s highest level earlier this season as a ruckman, and by many accounts he’s played well for the St. Kilda Football Club.

Thursday night it was announced that former New Mexico guard Hugh Greenwood has signed a two-year contract with Adelaide, thus returning to the sport he played as a teenager prior to joining the UNM program. After completing his career at New Mexico, Greenwood spent some time with the Utah Jazz’s summer league team.

Greenwood has experience playing Australian rules football, and he was good enough to earn a scholarship from the Australian Institute for Sport in both basketball and football according to Adelaide’s release. That experience, which college basketball players who have made the switch in recent years, should help with his transition to the game as a professional.

Greenwood is the second former college basketball player to sign with an AFL franchise in the last week. Former Arizona forward Matt Korcheck, who had a month-long trial with Carlton of the AFL’s second division that began in late July, signed a two-yeat contract with the club last week.

Former Morehead State forward poised to make history in Australian Football League

Jason Holmes Portrait Session
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In recent years the Australian Football League has looked to college basketball for new talent, and with good reason based upon the rules of the sport. Given the number of ball-ups within a game, there’s an area where tall, athletic players can be of use to teams at the ruck (or ruckman) position.

For those unfamiliar, a ball-up is the way in which a referee puts the ball back into play, either by way of tossing the ball into the air (or bouncing if off the turf to do so). This weekend, a former college basketball player could make history as the first to play in a first division game.

According to the Associated Press, former Mississippi Valley State and Morehead State forward Jason Holmes is in the squad announced by St. Kilda for the team’s game against Geelong. While other former college basketball players, including Oklahoma State’s Mason Cox and DePaul/Long Beach State’s Eric Wallace, have made the move to Australia none have been able to crack the highest level of the game.

“It’s one of the dreams they sell us when they try to get Americans over here,” Holmes said. “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet and I understand it’s a really big thing, but I’m just proud to be a cog in the machine that’s going to help this sport grow internationally.”

Among the former college players who participated in an AFL combine held in Florida this spring are Radford’s Jalen Carethers and Arizona’s Matt Korcheck.

Australian Football League squad Collingwood signs former Oklahoma State forward Mason Cox

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The athletic career of former Oklahoma State forward Mason Cox featured multiple roles, as he was the women’s basketball team’s “Brittney Griner” in practices as the team prepared to face Baylor before joining the men’s basketball team as a walk-on. The 6-foot-10 Cox played in just 23 games in three seasons as a Cowboy, with 13 of those appearances coming during the 2013-14 season.

However while a professional career on the basketball court may not have been in the cards for Cox, the chance to play in the Australian Football League presented itself last month. And just over a month after it was reported that Cox performed well during the league’s three-day international combine, Collingwood announced that it has signed the big man to a contract.

“It’s a little crazy. I just went on my first trip to Australia and I’ve signed with a team,” he said on collingwoodfc.com.au.

“I’m very excited about getting started and playing and being introduced to all the players.

“It’s going to be tough. Nothing is going to be easy, nothing is going to be given to you. There’s a lot of hard work ahead.”

There will be an adjustment period of sorts for Cox, but that’s something he’s familiar with based upon his path to joining the Oklahoma State program. Cox didn’t play basketball in high school, instead playing soccer all four years and he was also a member of FC Dallas’ Olympic Development Program squad.