BENDIGO Braves have announced 27-year-old power forward Ray Turner as their second import for the 2018 SEABL season.
Turner joins the SEABL after spending 2017 with Willeton Tigers in the Western Australian State basketball League (SBL).
The well-travelled American is a former NBA Development league draftee and has played professionally in Australia Cyprus, Hungary and Japan.
Turner joins returning 2016 Braves national championship player Jeremy Kendle as the club’s two imports for next season.
The pair shares similarities having both played with huge success in the Queensland Basketball League.
Kendle won the QBL most valuable player (MVP) award in 2015 while averaging 30.2pts, 7.3 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game for the Toowoomba Mountaineers.
Turner helped the Rockhampton Rockets to back-to-back championships in 2014-15, was awarded MVP in game two of the 2015 grand final series and later named in the QBL All-Stars team.
Braves coach Ben Harvey said Turner, who stands an imposing six-feet eight-inches (206cm), would bring a strong attack to the Braves offence.
“”Ray is an exciting powerhouse, a dominant four-man, who will be a real leader in our front court,” he said.
“His experience in Australia gives him an understanding of the sport, culture and importance of strong friendships on and off the court.”
Turner’s season with Willeton was his second in the SBL.
He previously played with Perth Redbacks in 2015, when he twice recorded 50-plus point games and had a league-leading 31.2 points per game and 16.1 rebounds per game (fourth in the league).
He played his college basketball at Texas A&M and averaged 9.2ppg and 6.2 rebounds in his final season in 2012-13.
Turner said he was excited to be signed by a SEABL club, and was lured by Harvey’s commitment to putting together a roster which demonstrated values of leadership and passion on the court and community.
The newest Brave will arrive in Bendigo in March.