The National Basketball League’s best player, Bryce Cotton, says he’s honoured to even be considered a chance of playing for the Australian Boomers at this year’s Olympic Games.
- Bryce Cotton has won two league most valuable player awards with the Perth Wildcats
- America-born Cotton said becoming eligible for the Boomers was a “pleasant” surprise
- Cotton currently leads the NBL in points, and is second in assists and steals
The American is a step closer to becoming a citizen, after receiving a Distinguished Talent Visa on Tuesday, and lodging citizenship paperwork this week.
The visa was delayed for months after Cotton refused to travel overseas, which was part of the requirements to receive a new visa.
Instead, he was “detained” at government offices until the new visa was issued.
“You’re just sitting in a room, they explain it to you,” Cotton said.
“I guess for legal purposes you have to be detained for a visa to be cancelled.
“I literally just sat in a room by myself for about 10 or 15 minutes.”
Cotton said it is not clear how long the rest of process will take, but he’s hopeful of being available for the Tokyo games in July, something he had never dreamed of being able to achieve.
“It’s one of those pleasant surprises that’s come my way for it to be an opportunity,” he said.
“It’s one of those huge unexpected things that has come my way and I guess we’ll see in due times if I’m in a Boomers uniform.
Despite moving closer to citizenship, there is one part of Australian culture he won’t embrace.
“I’m never going to become a fan of vegemite,” Cotton said.
Cotton has been a revelation in the NBL since joining the Perth Wildcats in 2017, after brief stints with NBA sides Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns and the Memphis Grizzlies.
The 28-year-old has claimed three NBL Championships with the Wildcats, and twice been named the league’s Most Valuable Player and Grand Final MVP.
His future in Australia looked over in 2020 after he opted out of the final year of a three-year deal following salary cuts implemented by the NBL during the coronavirus pandemic.
Cotton eventually signed a new three-year deal with the Perth side, and is currently the league’s leading scorer, and second in assists and steals.