American forward Jordan Bowling signs with the North-West Thunder for 2019.

BRAD COLE  THE ADVOCATE  The North-West Thunder have completed their off-season import search ahead of the 2019 Victorian Elite League roster, signing American small forward Jordan Bowling.

 

Standing at 198 centimetres, the 24-year-old is the second import secured by the club in as many days after securing the services of power forward Nick Banyard.

Bowling comes to the North-West after an impressive stint at Singapore club Adroit, where he lit up the Lian-Fa Cup competition with 38.6 points, 14.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 4.0 steals per game, with percentages of 57 per cent from the field and 42 per cent from the three-point line.

While the numbers sound impressive, it was his work ethic and versatility that impressed Thunder coach Sam Armstrong while being scouted.

“What drew me to Jordan was that he is a multi-faceted player who can play shooting guard, small forward or power forward with his size,” Armstrong said.

“But he is also a real blue-collar guy with a relentless work ethic and the skill to go along with it and through the conversations I had with him, he ticked a lot of boxes.”

Bowling began his college career at National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) school Dalton State in 2015, finishing with averages of 15.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in his two seasons, along with being named league MVP and all-American.

In 2017 he suited up for the Jamestown Jackals in the Premier Basketball League, a professional minor league in the USA, where he tallied 18.7 points, 11.7 rebounds, 3.0 assist and 2.7 steals per game.

“Jordan played at a good school and in a good conference and put up some really respectable numbers,” Armstrong said.

“He was really looking for an opportunity to prove himself after taking a slightly different route with his college career through the NAIA.

“He’s a really high-character guy and I can’t speak highly enough of him – just his work ethic alone should put him above a lot of guys and there are a lot of things about his game that Thunder fans will like.”

Armstrong said the club was getting close to signing a point guard from the mainland and hoped to have the deal done next week. 

The Victorian Elite League gets under way on March 29.

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