Matthew Dellavedova scraps for a ball during the NBA finals. Photo: Paul Sancya
RUMOUR CONFIRMED: The quiet town of Maryborough is planning on renaming its basketball stadium the "Dellavedova Dome" in honour of local star Matthew Dellavedova.
The 24-year-old guard from Victoria is making waves in America, becoming a major factor for the Cleveland Cavaliers as the franchise pushes for its first NBA championship against the Golden State Warriors.
Dellavedova has helped curtail the influence of the league's Most Valuable Player, Stephen Curry, while also making an impact at the other end of the court.
While the Cavaliers have far from sealed the seven-game series - they lead 2-1 - Central Goldfield Shire CEO Mark Johnson told 3AW Breakfast Dellavedova had done enough to have his home-town stadium named after him.
"That's where Matt Dellavedova learned his craft and the Maryborough Basketball Association have suggested that the stadium, which is a two-court stadium, ought to be renamed after Matthew," Mr Johnson told 3AW Breakfast.
"He's certainly put Maryborough on the world map, it's just fantastic.
"Obviously there's a process to go through."
LISTEN: Mark Johnson joins Ross and John on 3AW Breakfast
Mr Johnson said the regional Victorian town had well and truly caught NBA finals fever, with local kids reportedly skipping school to watch their local hero in action.
"People are loving the ride," he said.
"He's done an amazing job."
Australian basketball great Shane Heal said he wasn't surprised by Dellavedova's meteoric rise.
Heal, who spent time in the NBA with Minnesota and San Antonio, told 3AW the Victorian guard's fighting qualities were always going to take him far.
"Everything he's doing now, he did back in 2009 when I was an assistant coach with the Australian team," Heal said on Sports Today.
"We saw him come in as a teenager and just play with that tenacity... He's absolutely bullying (Golden State superstar) Steph Curry right now.
"If you put it into football terms, he's the sort of kid who just does the one percenters. He's virtually tagging Steph Curry right now."
Heal said Dellavedova "typified everything" Australians loved on the sporting arena.
"Curry isn't used to somebody playing with that sort of intensity on him for the full 48 mins on court," he said.
Cleveland radio personality Tom Moore said Dellavedova's "fighting qualities" had won him plenty of fans in Ohio.
"That's what endeared him to the people in Cleveland," Moore said on 3AW.
"He's working hard for everything he's doing and that's the mentality of the people here."
LISTEN: The rise and rise of Matthew Dellavedova