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Wellington Saints sign Taane Samuel

Taane Samuel Wellington Saints NBL
Taane Samuel adds depth to the Wellington Saints roster. PHOTO: DAVE LINTOTT PHOTOGRAPHY

The Wellington Saints have brought in a hometown son to bolster their National Basketball League (NBL) roster.


Former Tall Blacks forward Taane Samuel will suit up for the Saints - possibly as soon as Sunday's meeting with the Manawatu Jets - for the fourth straight year, coming off a successful season in Japan's third tier.


 

"His basketball IQ and versatile skill-set meshes well with our system," said Saints head coach Zico Coronel.


"He'll help to galvanise and deepen our roster. Reciprocally, we provide Taane an environment that can help him to further progress his career, as he returns to New Zealand temporarily following a successful first season playing in Japan."


Samuel, a 6-foot-8 small forward, averaged 16.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists, while shooting 50 percent from the field, in 50 games for Okayama in Japan's B3 League in 2023-24.


The 25-year-old averaged 12.7 points, 4.4 boards and 1.2 assists, shooting 56 percent, in 17 games last year for the Saints, numbers down from his two previous seasons in Wellington. Samuel also spent two seasons with the Jets.


Samuel appeared in three games for the Tall Blacks during their FIBA World Cup Asia qualifying campaign in 2021, averaging 8.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists, shooting 56 percent.



Meanwhile, the winless Southland Sharks have released their second import player this week.


The Invercargill franchise, which has started the season 0-7, said goodbye to American shooting guard LaGerald Vick on Tuesday, just weeks after farewelling veteran point guard Josh Turner.


In between, the Sharks signed young American guard Caleb Asberry, joining countryman Marcale Lotts.


Turner appeared in just two games, averaging 9.0 points and 2.0 rebounds, shooting 33 percent from the field, while Vick played eight games, averaging 17 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 steals, shooting 39 percent.


Asberry has played three games, averaging 11.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals, shooting 30 percent.

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