|Taipans sign Jawai
Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 09:17 AM
The Cairns Rawnet Taipans have announced one of the most significant signings in the club's history with the announcement that Nathan Jawai has signed with the club for the next two seasons.
Jawai is the second born and bred Far North Queensland product to be signed by the club and the first player from the Taipans Academy to graduate into the senior squad.
Taipans Executive Director Juanita O’Brien said the club is proud to announce the signing saying the club is continuing to work hard at develop local talent.
“It is just fantastic to bring a local born and bred player such as Nathan into the club and we couldn’t be more proud of Nathan’s signing.”
“We have worked very hard in developing our younger players since our inception into the league and Nathan is vindication that our Academy is one of the best development programs in the country.” O’Brien added.
“We have a number of young players in the US college system and coming through the Academy ranks and there is some fantastic young talent in the region that we hope we can develop into Taipans players of the future.”
The 20-year-old has made significant strides since relocating to Cairns to pursue a career in basketball. Despite never having played an NBL or college game, Jawai was in the final 16 players drafted into the Australian Boomers squad before the final team was selected for the last World Championships.
Jawai has also had stints at the Australian Institute of Sport (two years), playing college basketball with Midland College in the US and has been heavily scouted by NBA and NBL clubs as well as American Division 1 College programs.
Coach Alan Black said the signing was an exciting one for the Taipans praising the work of assistant coach Aaron Fearne.
“Aaron Fearne has done a fantastic job with the Academy over the past few years. He has been instrumental in the development of Nathan and a number of our kids who are now currently in the college system,” Black said.
“I was amazed at the quality of the young kids in the region and the Academy program when I first arrived at the club. It is one of the best programs I have seen in the NBL and is a vital part of our future as a club."
"We are 100% committed to the program and giving local kids a career path to the Taipans. Nathan is the start of what we see is a steady production line of local players progressing into the top ranks.”
Black couldn’t speak highly enough of his newest recruit not only as a player but as a person as well.
“On Nathan himself, he is an amazing talent. Considering he arrived in Cairns about four years ago to play for the Kuyiam Pride as a raw talent who had barely touched a basketball he has developed exceptionally quickly,” Black said.
“He has all the attributes to be a sensation in the NBL. He is big, strong and very aggressive. For such a huge guy he is also extremely quick and athletic and we are looking forward to getting him in Taipans colours next season.”
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