After bowing out a little earlier than Melbourne would have liked and the NBL season not back until October, the anxious feelings of where fans can get their basketball-fix are beginning to stew.
The good news is that not only is there going to be plenty of off-season activity we cant wait to share with everyone, but several of Melbourne’s players will be suiting up in leagues across the globe during the off-season break.
Whilst some of the leagues listed below are not broadcast into Australia, we’ll be doing our best to keep you updated on how everyone is travelling. For the guys playing in the SEABL competition, you’ll be able to head down to the local associations across Melbourne to watch the players do work.
Josh Boone was one of the first guys to head off after the season after inking a deal with Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions. Finishing the season with Melbourne averaging 10.1ppg and 9.3rpg, the Hong Kong season runs through until next weekend, with finals to follow. Boone is currently averaging 20.8 points, 13 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in the games he’s played so far.
You can follow Boone’s stats and team results here.
After having a short break back in the US with his family, Tai tips off his NZ NBL season this weekend with the Wellington Saints. Wesley has previously played in this league during the NBL off-season breaks, helping the Southland Sharks to a Championship two years ago alongside fellow Melbourne forward Todd Blanchfield.
After taking out Melbourne United’s MVP, Ware is back at ASVEL Lyon Villeurbanne Baskeball Club where he has previously played before alongside Dave Andersen. The French team owned by (NBA player) Tony Parker took out the Championship in 2016 and Ware will be looking for the same result when he returns to France this week.
Follow the team and Casper via the club, here.
Playing last year with the Dandenong Rangers, ‘O’ has signed with power-house the Kilsyth Cobra’s for the upcoming SEABL season. Known for his impressive defensive work, Odigie worked hard this NBL season to earn his call up into the starting five in the absence of Blanchfield. With local Kilsyth favourite Kyle Adnam taking a break from SEABL this off-season, we think O will a fine job stepping up in his place for Melbourne.
After suffering a calf-tear at the beginning of January, Ramone Moore returned home in February to finish his rehabilitation and be there for the birth of his second child. A favourite amongst the playing group at Melbourne, the Club was excited to see Moore’s recovery progress to him signing with Lithuanian side Panevezys Lietkabelis (LKL) last week for the remainder of the Euroleague season.
You can follow Ramone’s team and player stats here.
Coming in very late in the piece to replace Ramone, Lasan didn’t get much of a chance to show what he was made of in Australia. Following the NBL season, Lasan headed back home to the US before heading over to Egis Kormend where he has signed for the remainder of the Hungarian Division A season. Kromah is averaging 19.7 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists through 3 games.
Follow Lasan’s team results here.
After suffering a season ending injury in 2015-16 which kept him off the court for close to nine months, Iggy was finally able to return to training around November/December last year. It was around then that he signed with Spanish side Araberri to gain experience overseas and play out two months over in Spain.
After returning home last week, Iggy has signed to play with Sandringham Sabres for the upcoming SEABL season. You can follow how him and his team are travelling here.
Development and training players Tohi-Smith Milner, Matt Hancock and Bennie Lewis:
After going to battle against him every day at training Tohi Smith-Milner will be going to work against Tai Wesley when he suits up for opposition side Canterbury Rams in the NZ NBL this season.
Matt Hancock has headed over to WA to play in the State league with Geraldton, whilst Bennie Lewis will again be suiting up for SEABL side Frankston playing against Owen and Iggy.
Remainder of the playing group:
The remainder of the playing group including Nate Tomlinson, Dave Barlow, Dave Andersen, Majok Majok, Todd Blanchfield, Kyle Adnam and Chris Goulding are all currently not signed to play anywhere, however we expect a few more announcements may still come.
Chris Goulding will not be one of the players included in those announcements after a busy year last year when he headed to Spain for the remainder of the Euroleague and then to Rio with the Aussie Boomers following the NBL season.
The toll this all had on Goulding’s ankle means he will go under the knife later this month to have a full clean out so he can begin his rehab and get back in shape for pre-season games prior to the NBL season commencing.
Stay tuned for more team updates as they come to hand.