Nick Kay's Olympic aspirations were a decisive factor in the Tamworth export's decision to leave the Perth Wildcats and pursue his dream of playing in Europe. The 27-year old announced this week he was opting out of the final year of his contract with the two-time defending NBL champions after an outstanding two seasons in which he was named in the All-NBL First Team. "Obviously it was a tough decision, especially given the climate around the world at the moment, but it's always been a goal of mine to push myself and try and get into a European team," Kay told The Leader. "I've been looking to do this for a while now and this just gives me the opportunity to see what's out there and hopefully things fall into place and a good opportunity presents itself." Such was his desire to test himself over there, the forward, who was judged the Wildcats' players' player and best defensive player for the just-completed season, already had a European out-clause in his contract. Even still, he said it was probably the hardest decision of his career. Love sport? Subscribe today and receive a sports fan discount. He said the two years with the Wildcats had been a great experience, the club really allowing him to grow his game "substantially." But the opportunity to take his game to another level and give himself the best shot of being part of the Boomers side in Tokyo next year, which he believes Europe will present, was hard to ignore. Nothing is set in stone yet. "We've got some good interest so far but it's just really trying to find the right fit over there," Kay said. READ ALSO: Outside of the NBA, Europe boasts some of the strongest leagues in the world. In saying that, Kay said the NBL has been really good the last few years, and is expecting it to be again next season. "But just the different style of play, the different bodies, the different culture, all these things I think are something that can really help me and I really just want to give myself the best opportunity to make that Olympic team," he said. "I'm trying to prepare the best I can to make that Olympic team and give myself every opportunity. "I think this could give me an opportunity to do that and grow my game further in that regard." As part of the NBL's cost-cutting measures, Kay was facing a substantial reduction in his salary next season. He admits that did play a part in his decision but it was more of a nudge than anything. He concedes pursuing something overseas in the midst of a worldwide pandemic is nerve-racking. "But at the same time we've got a little window of opportunity to see what's going on and if things don't get better then the chance to stay in Australia is still a possibility," he said. Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson paid credit to Kay's contribution. "I believe Nick has the ability to be playing at the highest level so, while we're extremely disappointed, I appreciate his desire to explore those opportunities," Gleeson said. "He's a great teammate with a tremendous work-rate and is a joy to coach. He will always be welcome back at our club." Support the local news that keeps you informed - subscribe today.