Hickey hits his mark in opening round

ROUND 1 of the National Basketball League (NBL)1 East took place over the weekend, with the Albury Wodonga Bandits going 1-1 from two games on the back of dual impressive performances from William Hickey.

New South Wales’ premier basketball competition returned for the 2024 season, with nine games taking place across the Men’s and Women’s competition. In the men’s competition, the Bandits broke even from their two games, bouncing back from Saturday’s loss with a win on Sunday.

As a result, the Bandits sit in seventh spot after the first week, but will be encouraged by the way they turned things around in just over 12 hours, and will be looking to build on the second result of the round.

By far, the biggest positive of the weekend was the performance of Hickey across the two games, delivering some huge numbers to continue the momentum he built in the NBL postseason for the Illawarra Hawks.

William Hickey in Round 1

vs. Sydney Comets – 32 points, 12 rebounds, four rebounds, three steals, four blocks
vs. Hornsby KuRingGai Spiders – 36 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, three steals

Hickey stuffed the stat sheet in his first NBL1 appearance of the season, furthering claims that he is on the precipice of a breakout campaign in one of several leagues he plays in.

Although his side could not get the job done in the opener against Sydney, Hickey could not have done much more, suffering from a lack of help as the Comets spread the offensive load.

He remarkably scored 68 points across two games, which was far and away the most of any player across the weekend. His scoring methods may have changed throughout the round, but Hickey was still too much for the defence to handle.

In the loss to the Comets, Hickey looked to stretch the floor frequently, pouring in five three-pointers to make him an even tougher task for the defence.

When his side got the better of the Spiders the following day, Hickey was much more attacking towards the rim, driving to the lane at all costs and taking advantage of the opposition’s lack of interior defence.

He was also impressive on the glass, grabbing 26 rebounds in Round 1, with most coming on the defensive end as the guard consistently began a new possession for his side.

One of the Bandits’ biggest recruits delivered in the first week of the 2024 season, and when Albury Wodonga suit up next on Thursday, Hickey will likely be one of the biggest factors in the contest after his hot start to the year.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments