Jock Landale believes a stint in Europe will help him on the path to the NBA. Picture: Getty Images
Jock Landale believes a stint in Europe will help him on the path to the NBA. Picture: Getty Images

Why Aussie gun rejected three NBA offers

MELBOURNE-born Jock Landale has signed a two-year deal with Serbian club Partizan Belgrade, knocking back a trio of non-guaranteed NBA offers.

The 22-year-old had training camp invites from Utah, Charlotte and Milwaukee, but chose to follow the European path similar to fellow Aussie big-leaguers Joe Ingles and Ryan Broekhoff.

"The (NBA) dream's for sure still alive and you look at the track record of the Australians that are going to the NBA," Landale told the Herald Sun from California.

"A lot of them go to Europe for three or four years and try to make their mark there, build their confidence, build their bodies and get used to playing against men in elite competitions.

"You see it every year that four or five guys make their way into the NBA (from Europe) and I have full confidence in myself that I'm going to be able to do that.

"I figured, a little bit of a change of scenery and getting away and just trying to build my confidence in myself as a professional player wouldn't be a bad idea.

"I'm really happy with the way things have gone and the situation makes a lot more sense to me than the three offers I had with other NBA teams."

The Geelong Grammar student - who only took up the game as a 14-year-old - said the potential of starting for the strong Serbian club, noted for its record in developing talent, was too good to refuse.

"They told me there was an open spot in my position and I was going to have a really good chance of slotting right in there and they were going to run things through me and try to use me as a go-to guy," Landale said.

"That (discussion) ticked the boxes and told me all I needed to know and gave me confidence in the team and all the players and coaches out there.

"I'm still young and still learning about the game and I just didn't think it would be beneficial for me as a player to go and sit on the end of an (NBA) bench for however many seasons that might last, where I could be getting really good experience over in Europe and making my mark there."

A gifted player in the post, the 211cm centre stepped out with the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

The four-year St Mary's college product has NBA out-clauses in his Partizan contract.

Landale was named on Tuesday in the latest Boomers squad.