The League can confirm the Mike Pero Nelson Giants have secured Tom Ingham’s signature for the 2021 Sal’s NBL season. After a standout Sal’s NBL Showdown in 2020, the signing was an important one for Head Coach Michael Fitchett.
“Tom’s performance at the Showdown last year was fantastic. He took a big jump in court time and really made the most of it.
"Of course, his scoring, rebounding and other stats took a big jump, but his shooting percentages improved across the board, in spite of being one of the key focuses for opposition defences. That gives me a lot of confidence in his ability to play big minutes for us this year."
Ingham said he's looking to build on his success from last year and help the Giants grow both on and off the court.
“The Showdown was a great opportunity for me to show that I belong in this league, and should have a bigger role going forward.
"It is something I’ve been working towards for a long time, so to be able to perform like I wanted to was actually a bit of a relief! I have been putting in plenty of off-season work now to be able to make another jump in my play."
As well as taking on a bulk of the scoring load, Ingham will be required to assume a leadership role for the Giants. In what shapes to be a reasonably youthful team, all of Ingham’s eight years of experience will be needed to provide leadership.
“With Sam Dempster’s new Assistant Coaching role, we will need Tom to take on a leadership role this year. His experience, ability and, most importantly, his work ethic, make him a player the rest of our squad should follow, but this will be another area of development for Tom," Fitchett said.
Ingham is a born and raised Nelsonian, being schooled at Waimea College and now teaching full time at Nelson Intermediate School. He will take time off from his teaching duties in the middle of term 1 and through term 2, so he can focus all of his energy on the Giants' season.
“I’m super grateful to my bosses at Nelson Intermediate for making it possible to be a professional athlete, for even a short amount of time.
"Being able to train on court and in the gym, help the club with our community work and then also have time to recover and be fresh for games is huge for me. It has been one of my goals, so ticking that one off is great," said Ingham.