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NBA star rookie Ben Simmons hints he wants to play AFL for the Bombers

Staff writers, October 29, 2018 8:28AM News Corp Australia Network

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Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons, right, driving to the basket. Picture: AP media_cameraPhiladelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons, right, driving to the basket. Picture: AP

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BASKETBALL: Could Ben Simmons swap the basketball for an AFL footy?

It seems an AFL career is on the NBA star’s mind after sending a tweet to his 724,000 followers yesterday declaring he one day wants to play for Essendon.

Simmons has taken the NBA by storm, winning the Rookie of the Year award last season and appears to have a long and bright future ahead of him in the NBA.

But after growing up in Melbourne, it appears the Philadelphia 76ers star’s love of football — and Essendon — is still strong.

“Before it’s all done, I need one season in the red and black,” Simmons wrote on Twitter directly to the Bombers’ official account.

Essendon chief executive Xavier Campbell was quick to respond to the 22-year-old’s tweet.

“Just let us know. Target deep in the forward line, short bursts in the ruck,” he wrote.

Simmons juggled playing both basketball and football growing up and while he loved both sports, he always knew he loved basketball more.

Jockey Hugh Bowman riding Winx to win the Cox Plate. Picture: Getty Images media_cameraJockey Hugh Bowman riding Winx to win the Cox Plate. Picture: Getty Images

RACING: Trainer Chris Waller has given a strong hint that champion mare Winx will have her racing swan song* in Sydney next autumn.

Winx scored a famous fourth consecutive* win in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on Saturday — her 29th race win in a row — but it now appears unlikely the great mare will still be in training to contest the race for a fifth time next spring.

“I would say we will have to intervene* at some stage and label a race as her last,’’ ­Waller said yesterday.

“She will tell us when she’s ready. We will check her out properly with the vet, that’s the first thing,” he said.

“At some stage we will have a race earmarked* as her last. There’s a race at the end of the autumn carnival (Queen Elizabeth Stakes).

“But if things go wrong in between now and then, that will be the end.”

Winx has won the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick during The Championships in autumn for the past two years.

Pakistan's cricketers celebrate winning the third T20 cricket match against Australia. Picture: AFP media_cameraPakistan’s cricketers celebrate winning the third T20 cricket match against Australia. Picture: AFP

CRICKET: Australia have slumped to a 3-0 defeat in the T20 series against Pakistan, losing the third and final game in Dubai by 33 runs.

Chasing 151 to win, the Australians were bowled out for 117 with five balls to spare in a terrible ending to the tour of the UAE.

Aaron Finch’s men again proved no match for the world’s No. 1-ranked T20 side, failing to build any strong batting partnerships.

Maverick Vinales of Spain leads during the 2018 MotoGP of Australia at Phillip Island. Picture: Getty Images media_cameraMaverick Vinales of Spain leads during the 2018 MotoGP of Australia at Phillip Island. Picture: Getty Images

MOTOGP: Maverick Vinales ended Yamaha’s worst losing streak in MotoGP history, claiming a stunning win in the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.

The 23-year-old Spaniard also ended his own winless run of 28 races to beat home Suzuki flyer Andrea Iannone by 1.5 seconds with Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso third.

Yamaha had not won a GP since the Dutch TT at Assen in June last year when Valentino Rossi claimed top spot.

Aussie Jack Miller led on the opening lap and again on lap 4, but was then outpaced yet still stayed competitive to finish seventh.

GLOSSARY

swan song: final performance

consecutive: in a row

intervene: step in to stop something

earmarked: keep or identify something for a particular purpose

QUICK QUIZ

1. Where does the Essendon CEO think Simmons should play for the Bombers?

2. Which race is looking likely to be the last for Winx?

3. How many T20 matches did Australia win against Pakistan?

4. Which team does Maverick Vinales ride for?

VCOP ACTIVITY

After reading the article, with a partner, highlight all the openers you can find in blue. Discuss if they are powerful and varied openers or not. Why do you think the journalists has used a mix of simple and power openers? Would you change any, and why?

HAVE YOUR SAY: Should Ben Simmons give up NBA basketball for a season to play AFL for the Bombers?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking.

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