PTP's ‘Answer All’ Q&A with Matthew Delladevova
When it comes to basketball, Australian player Matthew Dellavedova ranks as one of the best! He's consistently performed on and off the court and continues to cement his position globally within the game. In this month's PTP 'Answer All' we chat with the Point Guard about what it takes to stay competitive, how he stays in shape, the highs and lows and some advice for anyone that wants to become a professional athlete.
PTP: Hey hey Delly, thanks so much for taking some time out to chat with us! Hypothetically, your new basketball card is about to drop. What are your stats? (age, hometown, Australian/US teams, position, height, quote/something you're always saying on the court to your team mates)
Delly: No worries! 31, Maryborough/ Victoria, Australia Boomers + Sacramento Kings, Point Guard, 6’4, “ Get a little better each day and over multiple years it adds up.”
PTP: It seems too often that people fall into two categories when it comes to playing high-level sports. One, they dream about it every day and work their butts off to achieve it, the other, an accidental moment that set the gears in motion. Which one do you think you fall into?
Delly: I definitely dreamt about it every day and night! And have worked as hard as I can for a long time. For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to represent Australia at an Olympic Games and play in the NBA and have been lucky enough to be able to do both. Along the way there are some lucky breaks and you have to make the most of them by working hard and getting better every day.
PTP: A favourite question of ours to ask is, were there any other sports that you could have taken up instead? We're picturing the front page of Billards Weekly or the headline, Matthew Dellavedova - Australia's curling champ!
Delly: Haha I love playing other sports! Table tennis or Beach Volleyball would be at the top of my list. Loved playing table tennis as a kid with family and friends and now like to play and watch beach volleyball in the offseason.
PTP: When was the moment that you stopped and said, yep, this is the real deal and I'm a professional basketball player? How did it make you feel?
Delly: Professionally, making my first NBA bucket in Chicago then lining up against Kobe Bryant and Lebron James.
PTP: Longevity is a must for anyone playing sports. Do you think it's a bit of luck or is there something else that keeps you on the court and competing? (feel free to mention warm-up/recovery and PTP products if you're feeling it)
Delly: Longevity definitely takes some luck but to have the chance to have longevity you need to do a lot of preparation, recovery and strengthening. I like to use the PTP bands to warm up and stretch down post workout. At night on the floor I’m usually rolling, stretching or using a ball to get into my hips. The best recovery is quality sleep every night.
PTP: There have been countless highs in your career and obviously a big part of your success. What has been the pinch yourself moment of it all on and off the court?
Delly: Winning the Bronze Medal with Boomers at the Tokyo Olympics! I remember the moment before the first game at my first Olympics at the London Olympics and realizing that I was going to become an Olympian. Also, winning the NBA Championship with Cleveland - standing on the court after the game with my family was awesome and my whole career reel flashed before my eyes.
PTP: What about the lows though, it's impossible to 'win' everything. How do you bounce back? What helps you keep getting back up?
Delly: There are definitely a lot of ups and downs over the journey but the obstacles you overcome make the victories that much more sweet. When I’m down, I usually like to think back to shooting hoops in my backyard as a kid or at the local stadium in Maryborough and how much I love the game, how fortunate I’ve been to live my dreams and play around the world. What helps me getting back up is the love of the game, the knowledge that I’ve been able to back bounce back in the past from injuries, being cut from teams and tough losses. Another big thing is my family - my mum and dad, sisters and wife and son who have been me every step of the way and support me 100% no matter what.
PTP: Lastly, any advice out there for aspiring athletes when it comes to the mental, physical or emotional?
Mental - visualize what you want to achieve then work backwards to see what steps you’ll have to take to get there. - over a successful career and also over a successful possession
Physical - take time and ownership over your own body and development. Learn how muscles, tendons and bones work and what other top athletes are doing in other sports to get stronger and more durable.
Emotional - get enough sleep, train and play hard when you’re at your sport but when you’re done for the day, relax and find another hobby away from the game.