Australian expected to bring big effort for Nuggets

Geremy McKay prepares to go up with the ball while playing for Vanguard University against Boise...
Geremy McKay prepares to go up with the ball while playing for Vanguard University against Boise State in the United States in 2018. Photo: Getty Images
Effort, length and a willingness to learn.

That was how Otago Nuggets coach Brent Matehaere described the side’s new import Geremy McKay.

A 2m forward from Melbourne, McKay was revealed as the first of two Nuggets’ imports for this year’s National Basketball League, subject to a critical worker exemption being granted.

The 24-year-old had been among a raft of import options for the Nuggets.

Matehaere said plenty of hopefuls had reached out in search of a contract, and the franchise had used agents to search for its own, too.

Interest in coming to the league had been strong, as many others around the world were still not playing or playing under restrictions due to Covid-19.

McKay had "ticked a lot of the boxes" the Nuggets were looking for.

Having played division one college basketball in the United States, he has also spent time with the South East Melbourne Phoenix in the Australian NBL.

Before that, he had played for Australia at the under-19 World Cup and had come through the Melbourne Tigers club.

That all gave him valuable experience, but he retained a youthful drive.

Matehaere said the people the Nuggets had spoken with in Melbourne had said positive things about McKay and he felt the Australian would fit with the team well.

"Obviously, the things you see on the highlights and watching whole games, he’s effort the whole time," Matehaere said.

"Effort on the rebounding side of things, we want to take care of the boards and get out and run.

"Obviously we’ve got some talented guards who can get up the floor and offensively and defensively he’s going to be right up there in intensity.

"He certainly suits the way we want to play the game.

"He’s just wanting to play better, he’s wanting to get on his professional pathway.

"I think it’s going to work well for both him and us."

McKay was the fifth import announced for the league.

Former American high school and college star Josh Selby has signed with the Franklin Bulls.

Deshon Taylor, who has spent time in the NBA summer league and with the Sydney Kings, will play for the Canterbury Rams.

Armoni Brooks and Daniel Alexander have signed with the Auckland Huskies and Southland Sharks, respectively.

It was unclear whether they would be granted an exemption from the Government to play.

The NBL had made a group application on behalf of all the teams and Matehaere hoped it would be successful.

Other confirmed players for the Nuggets are Sam Timmins, Matthew Bardsley and Pafe Momoisea.

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