The Geraldton Buccaneers have added to their roster with two new signings, while there is also a familiar face from last season.
The Buccs have added some height and versatility to the squad, signing 2.03m forward Ryan Blanchett from the Kalamunda Eastern Suns and 1.85m guard Malik Meunier from Victoria.
Buccs coach Dayle Joseph said he expected the pair to be raring to go.
“They’re two younger players,” Joseph said. “I think they’ll add a bit of enthusiasm to our team.
“They both feel they can go further.”
Blanchett averaged 11 points a game last season with Kalamunda, plus two assists and five rebounds while shooting 45 per cent from the field.
“Ryan brings some much-needed length and versatility to the team, that is going to go a long way towards the Buccs challenging for the playoffs in 2022.”
Malik played for Victoria at the under-20 national championships in 2018 and has been with the Knox Raiders in the NBL1 South for several seasons.
“Malik comes recommended as a perfect team player and loves to take on the opposition’s best players,” the Buccs said.
The Buccs have also re-signed Brandon Holloway, who moved to Geraldton from Kalgoorlie-Boulder last season, and gave some good performances late in the campaign after recovering from a knee injury.
The side suffered an injury-hit debut NBL1 West season and relied heavily on local talent, with imports and new signings hard to come by. Veterans Aaron Ralph and Mat Wundenberg are both on the injury list and Liam Hunt sustained a career-threatening leg injury in the West Coast Classic development tournament the season before.
Former Bucc Brayden Inger, a State Basketball League championship ring winner with Geraldton in 2019, has made a leap up to the NBL, signing for the Cairns Taipans in the national competition as a development player.
Taipans head coach Adam Forde, who managed Inger at Southland Sharks in New Zealand in the off-season, said he was impressed by Inger’s skills.
“I coached against him when I was in New Zealand, but I also watched him play for the Buccaneers in WA as well, so I’ve seen what he is capable of and I’ve been aware of his potential,” Forde said.
“He has what it takes be an NBL player and it’s common knowledge that he has been flagged by Basketball New Zealand as a future Tall Black.”