After just one year with the De La Salle University Green Archers, Kiwi student-athlete Taane Samuel has decided to stay in New Zealand and play professional basketball.
Last March 19, NBL club team Manawatū Jets announced that they have signed the 6-foot-8 big man.
This means that Samuel has foregone his amateur status and will be seen as a pro basketball player.
“Taane trained with us in mid-February, and from the onset it was clear he could make a real contribution to our group,” Jets head coach Tim McTamney told the Stuff New Zealand.
“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,” Samuel said.
Samuel’s short stint with La Salle lasted only four games, all of which ended up with losses.
During his debut against the FEU Tamaraws, Samuel only played a few minutes as he suffered a Jones fracture. He was able to make his return after six weeks, but the Green Archers went 0-3 during that span – including a win-or-go-home playoff FEU.
Samuel averaged 5.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in four games.
Waiting in the wings for La Salle is Senegalese big man Amadou N’Diaye. The 19-year-old will have to sit out one year before he is eligible to play in the UAAP Season 83 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
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