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Luc Longley Joins the Kings as Sydney Bolsters Their Off-Court

Basketball National Basketball League

Luc Longley Joins the Kings as Sydney Bolsters Their Off-Court
'The Sydney Kings have bolstered their off-court with the addition of Luc Longley as special advisor to the business. The 3-time NBA Champion and icon of Australian basketball joins the Club to work alongside Head Coach Will Weaver, CEO Chris Pongrass and Chairman Paul Smith. Following TSE’s acquisition of full ownership of the Kings in April this year, the Club has taken bold steps in bringing in strong character people to help take it to the next level. Longley brings with him a wealth of experience as a player, a coach, an NBL Club owner, and will play a key role in the organisations success moving forward. Sydney Kings Chairman Paul Smith spoke about the new appointment. “For us, this process has been about bringing really high quality people like Luc into the Kings so that he can have an impact across the business in a number of areas. We’re a Club that cares about these things, and we think it will start to show externally as much as it will impact us internally”. “Luc already has a strong relationship with Will through their time together at the Boomers, but we see this role being much broader than that. Luc’s got a terrific knowledge of the basketball landscape both in Australia and globally, and we’re looking forward to utilising that within the team and front office”. As well as the appointment of Longley, the Kings have employed a strong basketball department that will work under Head Coach Will Weaver. Former Perth Assistant Adam Forde joins the Kings after helping lead the Wildcats to four Championships. “Adam has proven Championship experience, and has helped build one of the most elite programs in the league” Head Coach Will Weaver shared. “He’s done a little bit of everything as a player developer, a strategist, an analyst, and is noted around the league as one of the best team-player coaches out there”. Also stepping into the Assistant Coach roles are James Duncan and former-King Aleks Maric. “As we went through the process of trying to learn about Assistant Coach candidates, we looked everywhere. James was someone that really stood out as having had experience across multiple leagues, being from Canada, and coaching at a high level in Europe and also Japan for the past few years” Weaver said. “His specialty is player development but because he’s worn those different hats, we feel that he brings so much experience and a really different point of view that we can benefit from”. “Aleks has obviously had an incredible playing career at the highest level in Europe and internationally. As a veteran player he has had a lot of experience in that role of being a mentor for young players” said Weaver. “He also has an incredible network of scouting contacts globally, so not only is he a standout on the court, but he also assists in our efforts to evaluate and identify imports”. The Kings have also upped the ante on their high performance and medical areas of the business. Toby Banfield joins the Club as the new High Performance Manager, and current Boomers Physio David Hillard and his company Zone 34 will also join the team. “Toby’s a guy who’s coached athletics, he’s a trained physiotherapist, he’s a strength and conditioning guru and has been part of the professional rugby in both the UK and New Zealand the past few years now” Weaver shared. “David has been an incredible resource to Boomers players across the world when medical issues have arisen, and has an impressive network of medical providers and specialists. He combines the sharp edge of modern sports medicine with the awareness and fluency of what high performance basketball looks like” said Weaver. Kings CEO Chris Pongrass was also excited about the level of off-court talent that had joined the Club for the upcoming season. “From a high performance and medical standpoint we want to be the leaders in the league in that space, and create an environment that players can come to Sydney and flourish”. “We want our athletes to know that they have the best resources available to them. From our young draft prospects through to the veterans, we want all of them to be able to develop and succeed so that they leave here better than when they arrived in all aspects of their game”. “As Paul touched on, this has been about bringing in the best people for our Club. Both on and off the court, we’ve taken big steps forward this off-season to improve and we think it will show”.   via www.sydneykings.com'

Phoenix, United Ready To Throw Down In NBL Season Opener

Basketball National Basketball League

Phoenix, United Ready To Throw Down In NBL Season Opener
'South East Melbourne Phoenix’s Ben Madgen and Melbourne United’s Mitch McCarron are ready to lock horns in ‘The Throwdown’, which will open the NBL season on October 3. The 2019/20 NBL schedule was released today, with the crosstown Melbourne rivalry to tip-off the new campaign, something Madgen, who will play his first NBL game since 2015, can’t wait to be involved in.   “I think it’s going to be fantastic to kick off the season with the rivalry,” Madgen said. “I know both teams are shaping up really well and for a new club, we want to make a statement the first game. “Obviously United have been the benchmark for a few years now, they’ve been very strong and very well coached. “It’s going to be a great game and we are very excited to hear the schedule come out today.” McCarron echoed those sentiments, adding his side will need to be weary of a Phoenix squad that will be fired up to make a statement in their first ever game. “I think it’s going to be pretty exciting to have a crosstown rival now,” McCarron said. “Hopefully the fans really get behind it, especially the first game of the year to kick things off. “They’ve got a really talented roster and they’re going to be excited to make a statement. We will need to be ready.” Madgen was one of South East Melbourne’s first signings, returning to the league after spending four years in Europe. When explaining why he chose to return to the NBL, the 2013 All-First Team member said the combination of a thriving competition and a new team was an offer too good to refuse. “The league has gone from strength to strength and there are some really fantastic players coming back from Europe and I just think you got Andrew Bogut and other top quality imports and top quality locals,” Madgen said. “The talent is fantastic, and I think the game style suits my game the best. In Europe it’s a little more structured and a little slow downed. Here it’s really fast and an exciting way to play basketball and that’s why I love playing and what the fans love watching. “Off the court everything is going in the right direction, you got the NBA preseason games, financially all the clubs are sound. “To be a part of the inaugural season of South East Melbourne was too good to give up for me. When I was approached by them and talking to Simon Mitchell and Tommy Greer and what they’re trying to put together, it was a no brainer for myself and my family to come back to Australia. “Europe was great but four years, I accomplished everything I wanted to over there and now it’s time for a new challenge and I’m in a fantastic situation for that.” The Phoenix enter their debut season with a cloud of uncertainty around the status of star signing Mitch Creek, who remains a real possibility to land an NBA contract. While Madgen acknowledges he would love to share the court with Creek, he, along with the club, are fully supportive of his NBA ambition. “Everyone was very excited with how Mitch did in the Summer League,” Madgen said. “I really want Mitch to make the NBA, I think that would be fantastic for himself and for basketball in Australia. “A selfish part of me wants him to play for us as well because I think with him in the line up, we have a pretty formidable line up. I think we just approach it like we would normally. “It’s pre-season, so we are trying to get in the best shape we can physically and mentally and hit the ground running when the first game comes. “Hopefully selfishly Mitch joins us but if not, that’s fantastic for him as well. That’s up to the front office to try and fill that gap, obviously a huge gap to fill with Mitch being such a fantastic player.”'

Basketball Australia Adopts New Visual Identity With Brand Refresh

Basketball Ministry of Sport

In collaboration with leading creative agency, MMR, Basketball Australia has today unveiled new corporate branding to create a refreshed visual identity for the national sporting body.
'In collaboration with leading creative agency, MMR, Basketball Australia has today unveiled new corporate branding to create a refreshed visual identity for the national sporting body.The new branding, which has a rejuvenated look and feel, will be used by all national teams under the governance of Basketball Australia, as well as the Australian Junior Championships, Australian School Championships logos and other areas of the business including coaching and referees. “With the strength of basketball at an all-time high in this country and in the lead-up to what we hope will be a momentous FIBA World Cup campaign for the Boomers, this is a perfect time to refresh and strengthen Basketball Australia’s national identity in the sporting landscape,” Basketball Australia CEO, Jerril Rechter said.The four national senior teams in the Australian Boomers, Chemist Warehouse Australian Opals, Australian Rollers and Australian Gliders will obtain a new green and gold logo – refer below.The Boomers logo will be unveiled in time for the historic national team games this August ahead of the 2019 FIBA World Cup when they on Canada Basketball and USA Basketball in Perth and Melbourne respectively. . The post Basketball Australia Adopts New Visual Identity With Brand Refresh appeared first on Ministry of Sport .'

Jock Landale, Mangok Mathiang and Keanu Pinder return to Europe

Basketball The Pick and Roll

Three more Aussie big men ink new deals in Europe for the 2019/20 season, with Jock Landale also set to return.
'A host of Australian big men this week confirmed as returning to Europe for the 2019/20 season, including the Milwaukee Bucks’ NBA Summer League star Jock Landale.Fellow big men Mangok Mathiang and Keanu Pinder have inked new news, joining another Australian forward in Brock Motum who will once again play in Europe this coming season.Eastern Eashington star forward Jesse Hunt will also join them, signing his first professional deal.According to Lithuanian journalist Donatas Urbonas , the window of opportunity for Jock Landale to take advantage of his NBA-opt out clause with new club Zalgiris Kaunas closed on 15 July 2019.So despite delivering an outstanding 18.3 points, 7 rebounds and 1.3 assists average across four games in Las Vegas, Landale’s NBA aspirations must wait for another year.Playing for Serbian side Partizan Belgrade last season, Landale averaged 11.2 points and 6.5 rebounds in the EuroCup and 12 points and 3.2 rebounds in the ABA Liga.He was signed by Brock Motum’s former EuroLeague Lithuanian outfit Žalgiris Kaunas on a “1+1” deal.EuroView: Top 5 Aussie men of 2019 After a standout season with Vanoli Cremona in the Italian Serie A, Mathiang has signed a new deal with Bahcesehir Koleji Istanbul and will play in Turkey in 2019/20.Mathiang helped guide his team to a deserving win in the Italian Cup back in February, and has been one of the best centres across the league.He finished the regular season averaging a double double of 11.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, the latter mark being the third best in the league.He would go on to complete the season shooting 61.3% from the field which had him placed 4th in the competition.Mangok Mathiang yeni zaferlere Bahçeşehir Kolejinde kanat açacak. @M_Mango32 pic.twitter.com/RAWrXYeTUA — BahcesehirBasketbol (@BKBasketbol) July 10, 2019 Bahcesehir just missed the Turkish Super League playoffs last season, and along with the addition of Mathiang, are re-tooling for a chance to make the next step. 24-year old forward Keanu Pinder is set to return to Legia Warszawa in Poland as his team looks to make a playoff run next season.Efektownych zagrań @KeanuPinder28 nie zabraknie również w przyszłym sezonie Australijczyk zostaje z nami! @lotto_pl #plkpl #LegiaKoszTransferyByLotto https://t.co/USo2ViLXfd — Legia Kosz (@LegiaKosz) July 8, 2019 Across 30 games last season, the forward provided 7.2 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, overcoming a rib injury sustained early in the season to finish off strongly.Motum had previously signed a new deal with Spanish club Valencia on a 2 year deal.Motum averaged 6.5 points and 1.8 rebounds while shooting 53.8% from inside the arc and 44% beyond as Anadolu Efes Istanbul finished second in the EuroLeague.Back in Turkey, Motum’s side also finished runners-up, posting an impressive 17.6 points and 5.47 rebounds per game, shooting at better than 60% from inside the arc and 43.14% beyond it despite limited opportunities.Brock Motum joins Valencia Basket on 2-year deal Eastern Washington graduate Jesse Hunt has signed his first professional contract, making the transition to Turkey to play in the second division with Manisa Büyükşehir Belediyesi.The 6’8 forward enjoyed a stellar senior year with the Eagles, posting career best numbers of 14.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.He would go on to earn second team All-Big Sky honors for the Eagles and will be an asset on his new team.Türkiye Basketbol Ligi ekiplerinden Manisa Büyükşehir Belediyesi, Isiah Umipig’in ardından ikinci yabancı transferini de yaparak Avustralyalı çaylak pivot Jesse Hunt ile anlaştı. pic.twitter.com/zIhicLClxk — Timeout Basketbol (@TIMEOUTBASKET) July 16, 2019 . The post Jock Landale, Mangok Mathiang and Keanu Pinder return to Europe appeared first on The Pick and Roll .'

#NBL20 Schedule Released

Basketball National Basketball League

#NBL20 Schedule Released
'History will be made on October 3 when the NBL’s newest team South East Melbourne Phoenix goes head to head with cross town rival Melbourne United in the first ever Throwdown. The Phoenix will make its NBL debut against last year’s runners-up in what’s expected to be a sell-out game at Melbourne Arena to open the 2019-20 Hungry Jack’s NBL season. NBL Chief Executive Jeremy Loeliger said: “The Throwdown between Melbourne United and South East Melbourne will re-ignite the massive Melbourne rivalries of the ‘90s and will be an historic opening to what shapes as the NBL’s biggest season ever.” DOWNLOAD THE FULL #NBL20 SCHEDULE In a blockbuster opening round, Melbourne United will also meet reigning champions the Perth Wildcats in a replay of last year’s Grand Final on October 5 and global teenage sensation LaMelo Ball will make his debut for the Illawarra Hawks against the Brisbane Bullets on October 6. NBL superstar Casper Ware will play his first game for the Sydney Kings against the Cairns Taipans on October 4 following his defection from Melbourne United at the end of last season. These are among several highlights of the schedule for the 2019-20 season released today including: \t Highly rated 2020 NBA Draft prospect RJ Hampton to make his debut for the SKY Sport News Zealand Breakers against the Kings at Qudos Bank Arena on Friday October 18 \t South East Melbourne to play its first home game against Brisbane on Sunday October 13 \t Adelaide to play its first home game at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre on Saturday October 19 against Brisbane \t A Melbourne Cup Eve blockbuster between Melbourne United and the Sydney Kings on Monday November 4 \t The first game between Illawarra and New Zealand featuring Next Stars RJ Hampton and LaMelo Ball at Spark Arena on Thursday October 24 \t An open-air game between Melbourne and Cairns at Melbourne Arena on Boxing Day \t Two games on Australia Day including Sydney v Melbourne at Qudos Bank Arena \t The return of the Australian Open game on January 29 between Melbourne and Perth \t Two games featuring the Illawarra Hawks in Canberra (dates to be confirmed) \t Two games on New Year’s Eve and a game on New Year’s Day featuring Adelaide and Perth at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre With the addition of a ninth team in the Phoenix, there will be a total of 126 games across the season, an increase of 14 games from last season. Each team will play 28 games. Every club will play four teams four times during the season with two games at home and two away. They will play the remaining four teams three times across the season with games split between home and away. Loeliger said: “We saw record attendances and broadcast audiences last season and we hope this will be another record breaking season. “We will see the return of big name stars such as Andrew Bogut after his NBA stint with Golden State Warriors and quality imports including Bryce Cotton, Casper Ware, Melo Trimble and Shawn Long. “Adelaide will play in a new venue, we will have two games in Canberra and highly rated NBA prospects in RJ Hampton, LaMelo Ball, Terry Armstrong and Didi Louzada joining the league as part of our Next Stars program. “With the Boomers to play the USA in August followed by the FIBA World Cup in China in September, there’s never been a more exciting time for basketball in Australia and New Zealand.” Times and broadcast details for all games will be announced soon. DOWNLOAD THE FULL #NBL20 SCHEDULE'

Brock Motum on Euroleague, the Boomers and the NBL

Basketball National Basketball League

Brock Motum on Euroleague, the Boomers and the NBL
'Interview conducted for nbl.com.au by Tom Hersz Having forged a successful pro career in Europe, Australian Boomer and Rio Olympian Brock Motum went all the way to the championship game at the Euroleague Final Four this year. It capped a busy year that also saw him get married and recently sign a new deal to move to Valencia Basket and the ACB in Spain. Motum has become a staple of winning teams in Europe and now has his sights set on winning that elusive first major medal with the Boomers in China later this year. He is home in Brisbane before heading to Melbourne for Boomers camp next month and was generous enough to chat with NBL Media on Sunday about his past year, the Boomers medal chances, the state of the NBL and what his future may hold.   You’re coming off a very successful season with Anadolu Efes, where you not only won the Turkish Super League (BSL), but went to the championship game in the Euroleague. How much fun did you have this season? I had a lot of fun. We had a lot of team success. We were a really deep team, so I think in Euroleague some of my opportunities this year were a bit limited and my role was a bit smaller than I would have liked, but when you win – and we got the final of the [Euroleague] Final Four – it’s hard to complain. My role was to come off the bench and provide a scoring impact; break the game where I could and I feel like I did that pretty well this year. And then in the Turkish League, because we had 9 foreigners and only 5 are allowed to play [in each game], so when I got my chances there I really did my thing.   What was the Euroleague Final Four experience like? I mean that is the pinnacle of pro basketball outside of the NBA. It was awesome, but the lead up to that was kind of interesting because right before the playoffs started, I had just a crazy injury where I hurt my hamstring. Initially it was going to be like 10 days and then they said it was a bit more serious than they’d thought. And so right up until the weekend before the Final Four I hadn’t been able to practice.   . @brockm12 is enjoying himself ? #F4GLORY pic.twitter.com/C06hCCm5Y5 — EuroLeague (@EuroLeague) May 17, 2019   The Final Four was on a Wednesday and Friday and I’d played in a Turkish League game on the Sunday to test it; just to see if I could run, see if I could play. I felt pretty good, pulled up good and I was healthy just in time for the Final Four. So I was pretty nervous all the way up to it, but then once we got there it was awesome. The whole experience, all the media, all the people around, the big crowd; it was a really good experience to play there and I hope I can get back there again.   How disappointing was it losing in the title game? It was very disappointing because we were so close. And for all the glory that comes with winning Euroleague, which is really hard to do – a lot of things have to go right for you to do that – and we got so close. Yeah it was disappointing to come up just that little bit short. But on the day, they [CSKA Moscow] played better than we did and I guess that’s just how it went that day, but I would have loved to have played that game again.   You’ve now signed on with Valencia Basket for the next 2 years. Why the move from Turkey to Spain? They gave me a pretty good offer, so that was one thing, and I guess just an opportunity to play in Spain, play in the ACB, play in Euroleague in a team that had great success last year to get into the Euroleague, winning the Eurocup. From everything I’ve heard Valencia’s a beautiful place and a really great organisation, so I think more than anything it’s to try and go there and hopefully have a different role on the team. Just excited to get there and be in Spain, and play with these guys.   Five seasons in Europe now and you’ve won three titles, two cups and made it to the Euroleague title game. That’s some great success you’ve had and it looks like you’re following in the footsteps of David Andersen in that regard. What do you put the success down to? I think a lot of the teams I’ve been on have been great teams, you know? I’ve been a piece of that puzzle and I play my role the best I can. I’m just happy that everywhere I’ve gone I’ve had success for the most part. I’ve really grown to love playing in Europe and the grind of the season; the emotions and passions of the European fan, and I think my game has adapted more to the European style and I’ve found ways to become more effective.   Welcome, Brock! ? @brockm12 is the 1st male incorporation for the next season. Australian, plays the PF and has 4 years of experience on Turkish Airlines @EuroLeague ENG ? Agreement with Brock Motum for the next two seasons https://t.co/hJH2qYLzno pic.twitter.com/AlgpVMloM5 — Valencia Basket Club (@valenciabasket) July 2, 2019   You came very close to making the regular season roster with the Utah Jazz in 2014. Do you still have NBA aspirations? Yeah I do. I have an out in my contract after this year. You always want to get to the highest level in the NBA and I think I still have maybe a year or two to really get there. It’s still my goal and something I work towards and something that I lined my contract up to hopefully get that opportunity if it comes. But all I have to focus on now is getting ready for the World Cup, having a great season at Valencia and then see what’s next beyond that.   Speaking of your comfort level in Europe, you met your wife Martyna, when she was working for Zalgiris TV when you were playing there and you got married a year ago. How has she changed your life? She’s changed it in a big way. When I was living over there by myself it gets a bit lonely when you just practice, go to eat, go to sleep and then go to practice again. So, it’s really good that I found someone over there that I can travel with, that I can share all of these experiences with, can help me through the highs and lows, and be there for me. It’s been a huge addition to my life, and it’s helped my basketball too, just to come home and have more of a balance in my life. Rather than just thinking about basketball, I’ve been able to broaden my spectrum in life and I think that’s in turn helped me [when] playing.   Let’s turn attention now to the Boomers. Firstly, have you gotten over the Bronze Medal game in Rio yet? [Laughs] Yeah, I mean it’s been three years. I don’t think you can ever get over that. It still stings a little bit, but there’s a great opportunity this year and next year to avenge that I guess, for loss of a better word. But I think the big goal is still to win a gold medal. And I think that’s what, going into the next few years, the goal will remain and I think it’s very possible to do so.   Obviously an Olympic Medal is the true goal, but you guys have a great shot to get on the podium in China this year at the FIBA World Cup. What would it mean to finally medal at a major tournament? I think for any team to get a gold medal, or as you said, a medal, in a major international tournament like the World Cup or the Olympic Games is probably one of the highest pinnacles for our sport, other than an NBA Championship for one of those teams or a Euroleague Championship is another thing with your club team. But to win something for your country, I think is extra special.   I know you guys have the Boomers WhatsApp thread going. Without divulging any secrets, what’s the feeling amongst the group about your chances in China? To be honest, I haven’t really been on it that much, but I think it’s a pretty good mood going into camp. I think everyone’s pretty excited for the most part to get into camp and get back to playing with each other and catching up.   Before you head over there, you’ll be taking on Canada in Perth and then Team USA in front of 50,000 plus people in Melbourne. How big are those games for the team’s preparation? They’re huge. Any time you get to play against a quality opponent, and especially against one that’s going to be in our group in the World Cup [Canada], you have to make the most of those opportunities and I think it’ll be very good and very important for our preparation going to the World Cup to play well in those games.   LOOK OUT BELOW @brockm12 dominates the paint ? #7DAYSMagicMoment pic.twitter.com/eqQ0ovjWS2 — EuroLeague (@EuroLeague) March 14, 2019   Have you ever played in front of a crowd as big as what you’ll see in Melbourne? No I don’t think so. I think in College I played against some big crowds and then obviously in Europe against Panathinaikos and those kinds of games, there’s some pretty big crowds. But I don’t think I’ve ever played in front of 50,000.   Despite a few guys like Dante, Ryan and Thon being unavailable, with the addition of Ben Simmons (hopefully) and the emergence of guys like Jonah Bolden, Deng Adel, Jock Landale, Xavier Cooks and Mitch Creek, is this the most talented Boomers squad ever? I think so. Every year it just gets more and more talented. I think we’re lucky to be part of this, what’s been labelled the golden era of Australian basketball. Whatever squad Drej [Andrej Lemanis] and the coaching staff puts together is going to have that Australian fighting mentality and it also helps that we’re going to be a very skilled squad too.   I know you’ve been keeping tabs on the NBL while you’ve been overseas. With expansion to 9 teams, the continuing NBLxNBA schedule and the emergence of the Next Stars program as a viable alternative to the NCAA, what excites you the most about where the league is at currently? Like you said with the innovation of the Next Stars program, bigger names coming out for the NBL and then other big names seeing that, taking notice and then following suit. Also Matt Walsh is doing some pretty good things for New Zealand with his contacts, so I think there’s a combination of things that are exciting for the NBL. And also the expansion, I hope it can just continue to grow over the next few years.   Finally, you played a season with Adelaide 5 years ago, but you’re a Brisbane native. Do you see yourself coming home someday to close out your professional career as Bogut has done and Ingles talks about doing? Yeah I think that’s what everyone wants to do at the end of the day. When you’re finishing your career, it makes sense to come home. I think that’s always a thought in the back of your mind so I guess it just depends where life is at. I haven’t really thought too much about it but it’s definitely something that’s crossed my mind for down the track in my career.   Brock Motum, thanks very much for your time and good luck in China. Thank you very much.'

United Sign 3 x NBL Champion Casey Prather

Basketball National Basketball League

United Sign 3 x NBL Champion Casey Prather
'Casey Prather is the only man who has won an NBL Championship in each of his first three seasons in the league and Melbourne United is delighted to announce that the superstar import is returning to Melbourne on a two-year deal. In a huge show of faith from the 28-year-old import, Prather’s two-year commitment to Melbourne is one of the biggest coups of the off-season and he will return to the NBL after a year away. “A two-year commitment from Casey is exciting,” United Head Coach Dean Vickerman said. “It points to him having enjoyed his time with us before and also having faith in our organisation that this is the best place for him going forward.” As showcased by his three Championship rings – including back-to-back Championships and club MVP honours with Perth in 2016 and 2017 – Prather has been a flat-out winner in the NBL. And he plans on keeping that trend going. “A Championship is the main goal,” Prather said. “Me coming off of not playing for a while, I’m coming back to a situation that I’m comfortable in, know what to expect and being able to compete for that fourth Championship is something that’s at the forefront of my mind.” Vickerman spoke about Prather’s impact. “Casey had a massive impact in his previous season with us and he played an integral role in helping us achieve our ultimate goal of winning an NBL Championship,” Vickerman said. “He gives us tremendous versatility on both ends of the court and we searched long and hard for the player we wanted to add with our third and final import roster spot. “He ticks all the boxes with his ability to guard multiple positions, his strong offensive game and his familiarity with the city of Melbourne and our organisation.” Vickerman knows he will be able to rely on Prather in the big moments. “He is a big-time player who rises to the occasion when it matters most,” He said. “We were after a defensive-minded player with our final import spot and couldn’t be happier to have re-connected with Casey.” Prather spoke about the opportunity to play for Vickerman again. “He was a great coach, great winner, great competitor, great leader and I look forward to working with him again,” Prather said. “He really surprised me with his temperament during games – he was able to communicate with all the guys effectively, which allowed us to be comfortable.” The addition of Prather completes Melbourne’s three import signings, with the three-time Champion joining superstars Melo Trimble and Shawn Long. Prather is looking forward to working with them. “They look like great players, I’ve never talked to them before, but judging from what I’ve seen, they’re great additions to the team and I can’t wait to get to Melbourne and play with them,” Prather said. “I can’t wait to get out there, just compete and play in front of the fans.” There’s no doubt that Prather, Trimble and Long form a dynamic import trio, and along with local stars Chris Goulding, Mitch McCarron and David Barlow, there’s genuine excitement surrounding Melbourne’s roster for the 2019/20 season. United’s roster build isn’t complete. The Club has one remaining local spot on the roster and is also still exploring opportunities within the NBL Next Stars program.'

Ben Simmons to play in upcoming Boomers exhibition games

Basketball The Pick and Roll

Simmons released a statement on his Twitter account this morning, confirming his commitment to the Boomers in next year's 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and the upcoming exhibition games in Australia.
'We won’t be seeing Ben Simmons in the green and gold at the FIBA 2019 World Cup, but he will be suiting up for the Boomers this year – in Australia.Following news on a 5-year, $170 million extension with the Philadelphia 76ers, Simmons released a statement on his Twitter account this morning, confirming his commitment to the Boomers in next year’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and the upcoming exhibition games in Australia.The statement reads: Hey Guys, First and foremost, I want to say thank you to everyone who reached out to congratulate me on the extension with the 76ers.Philly means so much to me and I’m already excited for next season.I wanted to let everyone know that after consulting with my representation, I’ve made the difficult decision to forego playing in the World Cup in China this summer.I will still be heading back home to Australia to host my camps as well as train and play with the Boomers in the upcoming Exhibition Games.I’m really excited about the talent we have on the Boomers squad, especially moving closer to 2020 where I will be honored and humbled to represent my country on the world’s biggest sporting stage at the Olympics in Tokyo.Ultimately, we decided it was best that I use the time in September to return to Philadelphia to acquaint myself with my new teammates and prepare for the upcoming NBA season.I appreciate Basketball Australia for their support and understanding.I look forward to working with my Boomers coaches and teammates over the next few weeks to start working towards our ultimate team goal of winning a medal at the Olympics.Matthew Dellavedova can’t wait to put on the Boomers green and gold The Australian Boomers play Team USA on 22 and 24 August 2019, and Canada Basketball on 16 and 17 August.Tickets available on Ticketek: Canada Basketball | Team USA . The post Ben Simmons to play in upcoming Boomers exhibition games appeared first on The Pick and Roll .'

Froling All In On Adelaide After Busy Offseason

Basketball National Basketball League

Froling All In On Adelaide After Busy Offseason
'Adelaide 36ers big man Harry Froling says a busy offseason has lifted his confidence heading into the 2019/20 NBL season. However, in reality, Froling hasn’t even had an offseason. When your months following the NBL season are comprised of NBA pre-draft workouts, 3x3Hustle duties and the backend of an NZNBL campaign, there isn’t much time to have a rest. Froling embraced this busy period open-eyed, and even though he ultimately didn’t get drafted, there’s no doubt the experience of working out with the Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz will be a benefit to his future NBA dreams and immediate NBL commitments. The 21-year-old dominated the NBL 3x3 Pro Hustle scene with Stateside Sports, proving his worth in the shortened format of the game. Froling has most recently played for the Southern Huskies in the NZNBL, averaging 18.3 points and 9.5 rebounds in four appearances. With so many different jerseys worn, and teams represented, in such a short period, it would be understandable if Froling’s mind hadn’t pondered back to the 36ers yet. The reigning NBL Rookie of the Year has quashed those concerns, though, declaring his mindset is absolutely on one thing at the moment, as he plans to use his learnings from the past few months to better himself for NBL20. “I’m all in with Adelaide right now,” Froling said. “I’m happy to be back and am excited for the season. It’s good to finally get back here, get settled and get back to work.” Of all the things he did after the NBL season, it’s no surprise to hear Froling got the most out of the NBA pre-draft workout process. He says sharing the court with NBA calibre players has boosted his confidence and helped him improve his game. “Working out with those NBA guys and seeing that I did well and competed and seeing my name around with those guys, it shows I can play at that level and it gives me confidence coming into the NBL season,” Froling said. “That will help me confidence wise and then working out with my trainers over there, they taught me a lot of things. I’ve definitely gotten better, my skillset, my perimeter game, post-game, all that stuff. “Working out in America with some NBA teams and doing well at that was really good.” While he is ready to take the 36ers back to the finals next NBL season, Froling’s long-term goal remains the NBA. He isn’t letting that take up too much real estate in his mind, though, as Froling begins to narrow in on Adelaide’s upcoming campaign. “I’ll take it year by year, whoever I’m playing for I’m just going to focus on that and let the rest take care of itself,” he said. “That will be good for me and I’m excited for the team we have put together.”'

Phoenix Sign EuroLeague Star

Basketball National Basketball League

Phoenix Sign EuroLeague Star
'After leaving no stone unturned in their search for the perfect point guard to lead the South East Melbourne Phoenix in NBL20, General Manager Tommy Greer and coach Simon Mitchell have signed American and EuroLeague star John Roberson, as their second import. \'I'm super excited to join the Phoenix in their first year, great opportunity to get off to a good start, to put our stamp on the league, and to compete in one of the best leagues in the world and one of the best cities,\' the point guard told Phoenix media. Roberson spent last year playing in the Russian league, and the three prior years was plying his trade in France. A calm presence on court he is adept at running an offence and scoring himself when he needs to, a career 45% three-point shooter he set a Eurocup league record in 2017 for most three-pointers in a game with 11. \'We are delighted to sign John to the Phoenix roster, his basketball resume speaks for itself, he's a smart point guard who can flat out shoot the rock,\' Phoenix GM Tommy Greer said. \'And as good as he is as a player he's impressed us as a person, he fits the culture we are building at Phoenix perfectly.\' During 2017/2018 season Roberson played for top French team, Asvel. In 16 games for Asvel in EuroCup, he averaged 16 points, four assists and shooting 47% from the field, 52% from behind the 3-point line, and 93% from the free-throw line. The team made it to top 16 of EuroCup, and he was a starter in French All-Star Game and competed in the 3-point contest. “John has been on my radar for three or four years now as one of the premier playmakers in Europe and a player I always hoped would play in the NBL,” Phoenix head coach Simon Mitchell said. “He is the consummate playmaker, unselfish, efficient and he brings the care, value and energy at both ends of the floor. I think to compete in this league you need that guy who can go head to head with Casper Ware and Bryce Cotton and we got that in John. “John has an incredible talent for creating space off the dribble and he is such a high-level shooter once that space has been created. It’s a world class skill set.” Roberson himself is excited about his move to Melbourne and looking forward to leading the Phoenix in their inaugural year. \'After Siberia, I'm excited to be moving to a much warmer climate,\' Roberson said. \'I'm looking forward to playing against the level of competition in the NBL and getting a look at some great high school talent. Guys like RJ Hampton, Lamelo Ball and getting to play with our own high school talent Terry Armstrong. It will be great to play against the new generation of basketball.”'