Bendigo Braves men now have their missing piece to the puzzle with the arrival of Kuany Kuany.
The 27-year-old 6 ft 7 guard only landed back in Australia on Saturday but has wasted no time getting down to business at training sessions ahead of his debut match this weekend against the Diamond Valley Eagles.
"It feels great to finally be here and I am looking forward to playing with the team," Kuany said.
"It's been a long journey to get here."
Kuany comes to the Braves on the back of a recent season in Europe playing with Croatian side Vrijednosnice Osijek.
He also has years of previous experience playing in the NBL with Cairns Taipans and Sydney Kings as well as time with Ballarat Miners and Sandringham Sabres in the NBL1.
Kuany, who was born in South Sudan before moving to Melbourne as a child, has also represented his home country's national team alongside former-Brave Mathiang Muo.
Kuany hopes to use his years of international experience to help the Braves men bounce back from their winless 0-5 start to the 2022 NBL1 South season.
"Most recently playing in Croatia I learned the importance of being versatile on the court," he said
"Whether it's playing the four, guarding a certain player, that's my focus I want to bring across for the whole season - versatility."
Braves men's first-year coach Stephen Black said with the addition of Kuany the whole group was finally together.
"Kuany will bring a level of energy, toughness and talent that suits our group really well," Black said.
"On game days he will provide us with a match-up that will no doubt cause problems for other teams as he can play physically, works hard defensively and has plenty of offensive skill.
"Especially when we look at the fourth-quarter offence he will make a huge contribution there and also with his impact to open up the ball for other players."
Upon reflection on the first five games of the season, Black said it had been frustrating to have not walked away with a win.
"Every game we've had proud moments and been happy with some stuff that we're doing, especially in the matches when we've been under-manned," he said.
"We've still been in contention at three-quarter time in each of the games and probably should've won a couple so that can be really frustrating as our aims are really high.
"However, at the same time some of the young players have been able to accomplish so much in the absence of Kuany, Mitch Clarke and Sidy. This has been exciting for me as coach in the future of what we're doing as a team.
"But at the same time we need to start winning some games."
Black said as the team approached its match this weekend against the Eagles, the Braves would head into the match confident and prepared to get a win on the board.
"We go into every game thinking we are the side that should win as we have a very talented team," he said.
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