Australian NBA trailblazer Bogut retires

The seven-foot center was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the first overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft...

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MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australian basketball great Andrew Bogut has retired from the sport effective immediately, leaving the nation without its most experienced campaigner ahead of next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Bogut, who won an NBA championship with Golden State in 2015, announced his decision on his podcast “Rogues Bogues” on Tuesday, citing a growing toll of injuries on his body.

“The decision hasn’t been an easy one, but I think it is the right decision. The decision that I made and where I will be signing for next season is absolutely nowhere. I will be retiring from professional basketball, effective immediately,” Bogut said.

The 36-year-old parted way with the Sydney Kings in May, a couple of months after Australia’s NBL finals series was canceled midway through due to COVID-19.

The seven-foot center was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the first overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft and helped pave the way for Australians to break into the United States’ top league.

Bogut also competed in three Olympics and was a member of the 2016 squad that finished fourth at Rio in 2016.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Christian Radnedge)