AN emotional Glen Saville yesterday announced his playing days are over.
The former Bendigo basketball star had always planned to make the 2012-13 NBL season his last, but a serious knee injury suffered in Wollongong’s loss to New Zealand last Saturday forced Saville to call time on his superb career.
The 37-year-old played 563 games for the Hawks over 19 NBL seasons and represented Australia at the Olympics in 2004 and 2008.
‘‘Early in the year I’d made my mind up this would be my last season. Unfortunately the knee injury has brought forward my retirement,’’ Saville said.
‘‘(On Wednesday) I met with a specialist and was informed in no uncertain terms my season was over. It was then that I knew my career was over.
‘‘It wasn’t the way I wanted my career to finish, but this is the situation I’ve been dealt.”
Saville will undergo surgery next Friday.
He was initially hoping the injury would be minor, but scans confirmed his worst fears.
‘‘I was hoping the doc would say he’d do an athroscope and clean it up and I’ll be back in four weeks, though I had prepared myself for the worst,’’ he said.
‘‘He put the first slide and said it wasn’t good. He told me my season’s over and I knew then my career was over. It was a very difficult moment.
‘‘Given that I’ve been through this kind of rehab before with my other knee, I wasn’t prepared to go into another season worrying whether or not I could make it through without having to deal with another injury.’’
Saville left Bendigo aged 17 for a scholarship at the AIS.
He then joined the Wollongong Hawks in 1995 as a 19-year-old.
Saville is the all-time leader at Wollongong in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, blocks, fouls, turnovers, free throws made and field goals made.
The only category that he does not lead the club in is three points made. This record is held by his good friend, and fellow Bendigo product, Mat Campbell.
Saville and Campbell played 483 games together for the one club during their careers, an NBL record that may never be broken.
“I look back at my career and have many fond memories,’’ Saville said.
“Standing out is representing Australia in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, the 2010 Grand Final appearance, as well as bringing home Wollongong’s first NBL title in 2001.”