Familiar faces and Next Stars join the NBL

THE off-season action in the National Basketball League (NBL) has been heating up of late, with two major signings announced in the past couple of days.

With teams beginning to finalise their rosters for the upcoming season, there are some big names either joining or returning to the NBL after one of the most exciting fixtures in competition history.

Firstly, the Sydney Kings have continued their masterclass of off-season signings by adding another big name in Cameron Oliver on a one-year deal, in an addition that is sure to boost Sydney’s frontcourt stocks.

Oliver most recently suited up in the Chinese Basketball Association, but Australian fans will remember him fondly for a two-year stint with the Cairns Taipans that ended in 2021.

During that time, he was one of the most exciting players in the NBL, flying high for dunks and producing highlights that were seen around the world. During his first campaign with the Taipans, he was named to the All-NBL Second team for his efforts, and averaged a near double-double of 17.1 points and 9.5 rebounds throughout his time with Cairns.

Pairing alongside Xavier Cooks in the frontcourt, the Kings now boast a one-two punch of big men that will give opponents headaches across the entire 2024/25 season.

The other notable signing of late has been the Tasmania JackJumpers adding their first ever NBL Next Star in Roman Siulepa, who was attracting plenty of attention around the competition after an impressive season at NBL1 level.

Following an excellent junior career that saw him burst onto the scene following an excellent stint for Queensland at the National Championships, the six-foot-seven forward now looms as one of Australia’s top basketball prospects, and has been starring against experienced players for the South West Metro Pirates.

Throughout the 2024 NBL season, Siulepa is averaging 21 points and 10.7 rebounds in an astounding season for such a young player, and has been truly making a name for himself in Aussie basketball. Bringing physicality, a soft touch around the rim and a relentless nature on the glass, he should thrive at NBL level and headlines the next crop of future stars born on Australian shores.

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