Home / World News / AFL Draft 2020: Connor Downie ready to inspire a nation with mum’s Chinese heritage

AFL Draft 2020: Connor Downie ready to inspire a nation with mum’s Chinese heritage

Basketballer Yao Ming inspired his entire country when he became an NBA star, and now young Connor Downie is hoping to do the same in the AFL.

The Eastern Ranges product is proud of his Chinese heritage — his mother moved to Australia from China when she was 24 — and it has always been a big part of his life.

Connor Downie is hoping to get snapped up in the AFL Draft.
Camera IconConnor Downie is hoping to get snapped up in the AFL Draft. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos

Now he hopes to make it on Australia’s biggest sporting stage.

“I’ve grown up half-Chinese, half-Australian,” Downie said.

“Last year I thought about it a lot and if I get the chance to be drafted, I want to make it one of my goals and share the game overseas and sort of be an ambassador for footy in China.

“Hopefully I can encourage more Chinese people to play AFL and multicultural people (to play).

“With mum being Chinese, I’ve been there a couple of times, a lot of my uncles still live there.”

The AFL has never had anyone with a Chinese background become a star.

But 18-year-old Downie could change that.

Part of Hawthorn’s next generation academy, the left-footed wingman says it would be ideal to land at the Hawks in next week’s AFL draft.

But several clubs have expressed interest in Downie and there are no guarantees he will be playing under four-time premiership coach Alastair Clarkson next year.

MORE AFL DRAFT NEWS

If Downie does end up at Hawthorn next year, one of his biggest role models during his stints with the academy won’t be.

Premiership star Issac Smith left Waverley Park during last month’s trade period and signed with rivals Geelong.

“What I learned from (Smith), he’s a great leader, and taught me a lot about being yourself and trying to lift others up,” Downie said.

About brandsauthority

Check Also

A Hall of Fame Poll Allows the Players to Vote

There is only one sure way to become an eligible voter for the Baseball Hall …

%d bloggers like this: