The Manawatu Jets have gone young once again with the latest addition of their 2019 Sal’s NBL squad, signing talented teenage forward, Taane Samuel.
The 6’7” big man is the newest player to be given his boarding pass and adds to already large number of promising players on the Jets roster. Head Coach Tim McTamney says Samuel is player with a high basketball IQ.
“Taane trained with us in mid-February and from the onset it was clear he could make a real contribution to our group. His basketball skill and athleticism have been well documented but what impressed most was his understanding of the game and the ability to adjust quickly to instruction and coaching. We knew immediately we wanted him in green this year.”
Samuel has represented New Zealand at age group level and has always been considered a very talented player, in particular at his size with genuine athleticism and fluidity of movement. He most recently returned from a stint at De La Salle University in the Philippines, where injury prevented him from playing as much as he wanted. Samuel says he is now fully recovered and eager to get back on the hardwood.
“This is a great group of guys, I really love the fact we are all young and hungry to prove ourselves as genuine NBL players, and as a genuine NBL team. The coaching staff have made me feel really welcome, our Conditioning Coach (Tasha Chambers) has been working us hard and I know we are going to be ready come the first game against the Rangers. We know we have a long way to go but we also know we have the backing of a great community. The people of the Manawatu seem like great fans and I am looking forward to playing for them, we all are!”
The Jets pre-season begins on March 31 with a Mini-Blitz involving the Taylor Hawks and the Taranaki Mountain Airs. This is followed by a full strength hit-out the following weekend on Sunday April 7 in Masterton against the Taylor Hawks.
The Sal’s NBL season begins on Thursday April 11 when the Jets face off against the 2 Cheap Cars Supercity Rangers.