The Nelson Giants’ new import, Joe Slocum, is set to realise a dream of playing professional basketball when he signs on for the 2017 campaign.
The 24-year-old point guard will take one of the two import spots in the Giants roster for 2017 after 2015 imports Ray Cowels III and Ben Strong have moved on.
Joe, from San Francisco California, played college basketball for the Alaska Nanooks.In the 2015/2016 season, Joe averaged 9.4 points per game and four assists. He only shot 57 per cent from the free throw line during the season in a small sample size. Joe is a friend of former Giants import McKenzie Moore.
“McKenzie has told me a lot about New Zealand and how beautiful the scenery is.
“I’m excited by the opportunity to start my professional career in a great league and I’m appreciative of the opportunity and I just want to get there and win games.”
Joe, who has a masters in business administration, says he is more of a passing point guard who enjoys the physicality of the defensive part of the game.
Giants coach Tim Fanning says he expects Joe will fit in well with Nelson.
“I saw Joe play last summer in Las Vegas at a showcase event, and he impressed.”
“He is smart, strong and a proven winner. He’s a lefty with great court vision and can play on and off the ball, so I really feel strongly about his fit with our NZ players we have secured so far.
“He is a good decision maker [with a] 2/1 assist/turnover ratio in college and only played on winning teams, [with a] 22-8 [record] and a conference Championship his senior year.”
Tim thinks he will help improve the Giants’ defence which struggled to maintain its intensity throughout the 2016 season.
“He can guard multiple spots and enjoys playing that end of the floor, which is something we were looking for out of this import spot.”
Joe, who stands at 6 foot three inches [190cm] tall and 200 pounds [90kg] will continue to train while holding down a part-time job before he arrives.