Conor Morgan won silver with Team Canada at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and is now signed to play pro in Spain with Joventut Badalona. Canada Basketball/Commonwealth Games Canada

Conor Morgan won silver with Team Canada at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and is now signed to play pro in Spain with Joventut Badalona. Canada Basketball/Commonwealth Games Canada

The rise of Mount Doug’s Conor Morgan, reaching basketball’s pro ranks

Conor Morgan wins New Zealand championship

Things are moving quickly for former Mount Douglas student Conor Morgan since starting his pro basketball career a few months ago.

The 6-foot-9 forward won the New Zealand pro championship on Saturday with the Southland Sharks and is now flying to Spain to join the Joventut club in Badalona. Morgan only joined Southland in the spring after earning silver with Canada at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. He finished a five year career with the UBC Thunderbirds in 2018.

He now graduates to the Spanish league, regarded the best league next to the NBA.

What was the goal since graduating UBC?

“My goal has been to play pro basketball from when I was at a really young age. The biggest thing for me is I want to gain the most out of basketball that I can. Money is good but for me it is not everything, I enjoy changes to environments, meeting new people and at this point in my life traveling the world. Living in Spain is a very fortunate way for me to start my career and I thank Joventut for giving me the opportunity to do so.

What was it like in NZ, do they love their basketball league?

New Zealand was great like Canada they love there basketball but it is not their first sport. Our home games all had five to six thousand people so the attendance and support was great.

Where was the skill level, is it above the Canada U Sports final four?

I think the skill level down in NZ was a little higher just because they are all pros. Everyone is all bigger faster stronger.

What was the adjustment like?

The adjustment was not too bad. I felt that I was one of the top players in the league and just wanted to try and prove that every game.

What was the championship run like with the Sharks? You seemed to get better in the playoffs, did you get more comfortable there?

The more comfortable that you get the more confidence and energy you can put into it. For me, I cherish pressure situations in basketball. As a pro you have to and I think that’s why I was better down the stretch. As far as the [playoff] run goes, it is always satisfying completing a goal with a group of individuals that was established early in the season. Between myself and the rest of the team we had some weapons that were too good for this not to be a realistic goal.

What do you expect in Spain?

Spain is going to be a great experience, I am working harder that I ever have in my life at basketball as it is my full time job now. The ACB is widely regarded as the best league in the world outside of the NBA. I am coming in trying to learn lots about the European style and better myself to become the best I can be.

reporter@saanichnews.com


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