Bendigo Braves sign massive American import

THE Bendigo Bank Braves' new import is exactly what the club wanted, says coach Ben Harvey.

The Braves have signed 206cm American centre Zack Atkinson to fill the big shoes left by SEABL conference MVP Ivan McFarlin.

"He played in the New Zealand state league which is basically the equivalent to the SEABL, he's 6'9" and he's exactly what we need," Harvey said.

"He's very dominant inside, runs the floor very well, he's an outstanding rebounder and the style we play we need that.

"He's just a really good fit for the style that we play and, more importantly, I spoke to his New Zealand coach and he's a great guy off the floor."

Atkinson, 27, averaged almost 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Waikato Pistons in the NZ National Basketball League this season.

He's the Braves' second new frontcourt signing, after Perth Wildcats 6'9" development player Michael Vigor.

"To have two 6'9" guys now, that's a pretty good line-up," Harvey said.

"I think he'll be a 20 (points) and 15 (rebounds) type of average for the year for us.

"He had five games over 20 rebounds in the New Zealand league, he was the top rebounder, the best defensive player and the MVP for the league."

South Carolina's Atkinson has played in Taiwan and US college Irvine.

Harvey continues to work on a second import.

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