Grant Anticevich, who played more games for the Cal basketball team than any player in program history, has signed a one-year contract with the South East Melbourne Phoenix in his Australian homeland’s National Basketball League.
“I am really excited to get down there and start playing with the team,” Anticevich told the team’s website. “There are so many high-level players, like Ryan Broekhoff, who is a great shooter, I think that is someone I can learn a lot from. I want to keep growing as a player, as it’s my first year as a professional, and I want to have as good of a year as I can.”
Anticevich played five seasons with the Bears, averaging 6.5 points and 4.3 rebounds over a school-record 139 games. As a senior last season he averaged career-bests of 9.7 points and 6.8 rebounds. He scored a career-high 25 points against Pacific last season.
The Sydney native is a 6-foot-8 forward with shooting range who improved as a rebounder throughout his time at Cal.
“He is an exciting young Australian forward who has had a very good career in the storied Pac-12,” Phoenix Coach Simon Mitchell said. “I think his skill sets may be better suited to the pro game, with a more wide-open floor. His catch and shoot, pick and pop game should flourish in the NBL.”
Anticevich is expected to join the team next week but was not on hand Wednesday when the Phoenix lost 86-74 in an exhibition game against visiting Saint Mary’s College.
During the signing process, Anticevich said he talked via Zoom with Mitchell and team CEO Tommy Greer.
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“They talked to me about the club and saw a place for me to fit in and help the team win and impact the team’s success. This is a great opportunity and something I was excited about. To have the opportunity to play with such a good ball club, and it is exciting to come back home and play,” Anticevich said.
He told fans on a video that his experience at Cal prepared him for this opportunity.
“Pac-12 is a high level of basketball, playing against outstanding players every night,” Anticevich said. “Cal is a great school, and good people surrounded me. I feel like I improved and grew as a player, which has put me in a good position to start my professional career.
“It helped me to play against those high-level players from early on in my college career. It wasn’t too bad of a transition; I feel like it put me in a good position now. I’m very grateful for that.”
The Phoenix was 15-13 and placed sixth among 10 teams in the NBL last season. Their 2022-23 regular season begins Oct. 1 with a game against the Tasmania JackJumpers.
Cover photo of former Cal forward Grant Anticevich by Soobum Im, USA Today
Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo