NLB: Perth Wildcats forward Matt Knight retires


Matt Knight looks to put a shot up against Delvon Johnson of the Illawarra Hawks in one of his last games for the Wildcats. Picture: Getty Images
Matt Knight looks to put a shot up against Delvon Johnson of the Illawarra Hawks in one of his last games for the Wildcats. Picture: Getty Images

THE risk of further head injury has forced the retirement of Perth Wildcats power forward Matt Knight.

The 32-year-old made the decision to retire after a string of head injuries – the latest being a training incident which forced him out of Friday night’s win over Sydney.

The three-time champion said it was a hard decision but feels it was the right one.

“I’ve had a great career; I’ve achieved everything I set out to,” he said.

“Basketball has been really great to me.

“Right now, what’s more important is my long-term well-being. I have the opportunity to retire now while I am still healthy and when I sat down to think it through; it became pretty obvious that this was the right time for me to leave the game.”

Knight joined the Wildcats in 2010 after two seasons at West Sydney Razorbacks-Sydney Spirit, and one playing overseas in Hungary.

The 2009 NBL Most Improved Player went on to play 181 games for the Wildcats (winning 119) and was a major factor in the club winning three championships in the past four seasons (2014, 2016, 2017).

He ends his career as a 236-game NBL veteran, including 30 finals games.

One of the best defensive and most influential big men in the competition throughout his entire career, Knight was named in the All-NBL First Team in 2013.

He’s one of only 10 Wildcats to receive that honour.

In 2015 and 2016 he was also named in the All-NBL Second Team.

The Tasmanian said despite the individual honours, winning three championships was the highlight of his career.

“Not everyone gets to win a championship,” he said.

“Winning the first was amazing. Winning two more is unbelievable. I’m very lucky.

“I’m very proud of the impact I’ve been able to make on the history of a great club like the Wildcats. I’ve spent over seven years of my life with this organisation and I’ve loved every minute.”

Knight will end his career with averages of 11.9 points per game at 49 per cent from the field, plus 7 rebounds per game.

He has remarkable career-high figures of 35 points and 16 rebounds and he recorded 41 double-doubles in his career.

Since joining the Wildcats he’s been the club’s leading rebounder.

The Wildcats congratulated Knight on an outstanding basketball career and thanked him for his contribution to the organisation.

No decision has been made regarding replacing Knight in the Wildcats roster.

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