From the day he was born, Andrew Gaze was destined for a life in basketball.
One of Gaze's earliest memories of the game was growing up in Albert Park where he practically lived on a basketball court.
His father Lindsay, who is also a professional player and coach, at the time was the general manager of the Victorian Basketball Association.
The job came with a residence that was attached to the then Albert Park Basketball Stadium, which meant the courts were always just seconds away for young Andrew.
"Every single day I had the chance to shoot around and play basketball," Gaze said.
"And even when I wasn't playing I would have to walk through the stadium to get to my house.
"I literally can't remember a day that I wasn't surrounded by basketball."
They say you're a product of your environment, which led to Gaze becoming one of the most decorated Australian players in the history of the game.
Gaze recently attended a webinar hosted by Bendigo Basketball Association's Ben Harvey where he opened up about his career and shared his thoughts on what it takes to play at an elite level.
He discussed his years in the NBL, NBA, trips to five different Summer Olympics as well as his thoughts on basketball in general.
Andrew Gaze Career Highights
- 2x NBL CHAMPION (1993,1997)
- 7x NBL MVP ( 1991,1992,1994,1995,1996,1997,1998)
- NBA Champion (1999)
- Australian Basketball Hall of Fame (2004)
- Sport Australia Hall of Fame (2005)
- 5x Olympian
Basketball is certainly his favourite sport, but while he was growing up he made sure he immersed himself in other sports too, a choice which he encouraged young Bendigo athletes to also take.
"I experimented with plenty of sports when I was younger, these days there's a trend where people want to identify with just one sport," Gaze said.
"My advice is, as I did in my formative years, is dedicate yourself to a sport, but also do the best you can to experience as many as you can.
"It opens the door up to learn different skills, it changes the body, improves hand-eye coordination and in my view this had a profound impact on my overall development.
"When you're young take the opportunity to play lots of sports, then once you're in your mid-teens, that's when it's time to drill down and focus on one."
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