Matthew Nielsen

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Matthew Nielsen
Matthew Nielsen 2017.jpg
Nielsen in March 2017
Austin Spurs
PositionAssistant Coach
LeagueNBA G League
Personal information
Born (1978-02-03) 3 February 1978 (age 41)
Sydney, New South Wales
Listed height208 cm (6 ft 10 in)
Listed weight106 kg (234 lb)
Career information
High schoolSt Marys
(Sydney, New South Wales)
NBA draft2000 / Undrafted
Playing career1995–2013
PositionPower forward
Coaching career2015–present
Career history
As player:
1995; 1997–2004Sydney Kings
2004–2005PAOK Thessaloniki
2005–2008Lietuvos Rytas
2010–2011Olympiacos Piraeus
As coach:
2015–2019Perth Wildcats (asst.)
2019–presentAustin Spurs (asst.)
Career highlights and awards
As player:

As coach:

Matthew Peter Nielsen (born 3 February 1978) is an Australian former professional basketball player who is currently an assistant coach for the Austin Spurs. Between 2015 and 2019, he served as an assistant coach for the Perth Wildcats of the National Basketball League (NBL).

Early life[edit]

Born and raised in the Sydney suburb of Penrith, Nielsen attended St Marys Senior High School where, three times a week, he needed permission to leave early in order to train with the Sydney Kings as a development player.[1] As a 17-year-old in 1995, Nielsen appeared in two games for the Kings before moving to Canberra in 1996 to attend the Australian Institute of Sport.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Nielsen in 2009, with Valencia.

In 1997, Nielsen returned to the Sydney Kings and won the NBL Rookie of the Year Award. He played a further seven seasons with the Kings and helped the club win championships in 2003 and 2004. In 244 career games for the Kings over nine seasons, he averaged 17.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.5 blocks per game.[3]

In 2004, Nielsen began a decorative European career playing for PAOK Thessaloniki in Greece, Lietuvos Rytas in Lithuania, Valencia in Spain,[4] Olympiacos Piraeus also in Greece, and Khimki in Russia.[5]

On 10 October 2013, Nielsen was named in the Sydney Kings 25th Anniversary Team.[6]

Coaching career[edit]

During the 2013–14 NBL season, Nielsen served as a big-man coach for the Perth Wildcats.[7][8]

In 2014, Nielsen joined the San Antonio Spurs coaching staff in a player development role, on a contract that ran through to the end of the 2015 NBA Summer League.[9][10]

On 29 July 2015, Nielsen returned to the Perth Wildcats, signing with the club as an assistant coach ahead of the 2015–16 NBL season.[11] On 10 April 2019, after three championships in four seasons, Nielsen parted ways with the Wildcats in order to pursue coaching opportunities in the United States.[12]

On November 5, 2019, the Austin Spurs announced that they had named Nielsen as assistant coach.[13]

Australian national team[edit]

Nielsen won the gold medal at the 1997 FIBA Under-21 World Championship with Australia's junior national team. He was also a member of the senior men's Australian national basketball team. With Australia's senior national team, he won gold medals at the 2001 Goodwill Games, the 2003 FIBA Oceanian Championship, and the 2005 FIBA Oceania Championship.

During the Boomers 2012 Olympic campaign, Australian Football League player Scott Pendlebury noted Nielsen's athletic ability, and mentioned that he could have played in Australian Football League, had he not chosen to play basketball.[14]

EuroLeague career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  PIR  Performance Index Rating
 Bold  Career high

Note: The EuroLeague is not the only competition in which the player participated for the team during the season. He also played in domestic competition, and regional competition if applicable.

2005–06 Lietuvos Rytas 19 13 25.8 .464 .357 .703 5.2 1.7 1.1 .3 12.4 13.6
2007–08 Lietuvos Rytas 13 13 24.1 .495 .250 .805 4.8 1.5 .8 .5 9.9 12.2
2010–11 Olympiacos Piraeus 14 9 16.0 .386 .143 .750 2.9 .6 .6 .1 4.4 3.9
2012–13 Khimki 15 2 11.5 .462 .000 .500 1.7 1.6 .3 .3 1.7 3.1
Career 61 37 19.6 .459 .261 .729 3.7 1.4 .7 .3 7.4 8.5


  1. ^ The Kings and I: captain Nielsen reaches club record
  2. ^ "Past Athletes". Archived from the original on 12 February 2014.
  3. ^ Player statistics for Matthew Nielsen
  4. ^ "Valencia is Eurocup king!!!". 18 April 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  5. ^ "BC Khimki lands Nielsen". 1 August 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  6. ^ MightyMite Sydney Kings announce 25th Anniversary Team Archived 13 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Damo's Dish: The Black Tape Archived 16 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ The Knightmare a defensive dream for Perth Archived 21 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ NBA: Plenty of Aussies calling San Antonio Spurs home
  10. ^ Wildcats could sign long-time Boomer
  11. ^ Matt Nielsen appointed lead assistant coach[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Matt Nielsen Departing Perth Wildcats". 10 April 2019. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  13. ^ "AUSTIN SPURS ANNOUNCE 2019-20 COACHING STAFF ADDITIONS". 5 November 2019. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  14. ^ "Scott Pendlebury says Matt Nielsen would "be awesome in the AFL"". 29 July 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2013.

External links[edit]