BRAD COLE THE ADVOCATE The North-West Thunder’s pre-season recruiting drive has netted them one of Tasmania’s emerging big men.
Hobart’s Jacob Richards has signed on and will line up for the team for the 2020 NBL1 season as the club starts locking away its contingent of local players.
The 18-year-old is no stranger to Coastal basketball fans, having played NWBU for Penguin this year and helping the team to its third-consecutive premiership.
Richards also represented the Blues’ NWBU Under 22 team who claimed the title as well.
He has already tasted NBL1 competition having played for the Hobart Huskies last year, where he averaged 10.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, and was also involved in the Hobart Chargers’ SEABL program in 2018.
Richards, who has represented Australia at the FIBA Asia 3×3 Under 18 Cup, will relocate to the North-West Coast ahead of the season commencing.
While Thunder coach Sam Armstrong has hinted at a number of changes on the local front for 2020, the Thunder have been able to retain two key components in Reyne Smith and Mitchell Rowlands.
Smith averaged 7.0 points per game coming off the bench in 2019 and was crowd favourite with his prowess from behind the three-point line.
He also represented Australia at the recent FIBA Under 17 Oceania Championships in New Caledonia.
Injury prevented Rowlands, a 196cm forward, from taking the court for all but one game this season.