Sydney Kings recruit Ray Turner
Sydney Kings recruit Ray Turner

Kings add to depth with third import

The Sydney Kings have boosted their big man stocks with the signing of former Texas College centre Ray Turner as the team's third import.

In a significant coup for the Kings' championship chances, Turner has signed for the remainder of the season.

Turner's signature provides additional depth to the team's frontcourt as the business end of the NBL season approaches.

The 28-year-old, standing 204cm (6'8") and weighing 104kg (230lb) is coming off an excellent 2017/2018 SEABL campaign with the Bendigo Braves.

In 22 games for Bendigo, Turner averaged 22.6 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game leading the Braves to the SEABL semi-finals and being named to the All-SEABL First Team.

Turner played collegiately at Texas A&M University (NCAA D1) before professional contracts in Cyprus, Japan and Hungary.

While statistics in past assignments provided a guide, other more important attributes are what ultimately led to his signing, as GM of Basketball Jeff Van Groningen explained.

"Ray is a quality person who brings a 'team first' approach to the club. We like his approach to the game, and we like his desire to rebound and chase every loose ball. Ray understands the role here and we welcome him to the Kings".

Sydney Kings Head Coach Andrew Gaze is also looking forward to having some additional help on the floor around the rim.

"We're really happy to have Ray on board," Gaze said.

"He brings an inside presence and has shown at the SEABL level to be an outstanding rebounder which an area we need help in.

"He's a big body and the priorities for Ray with us are what he can do on defensive end and how he can rebound. So far he's proven to be a great teammate with great character, he's been in Australia for a while and is married to an Australian woman so he knows the culture and the league"

"It's going to take him a little bit of time to get him up to speed with what we're doing, but for us it was a great fit to get us a little bit of help inside".

Deng Acuoth, a developing young talent, makes way for Turner's inclusion in the 12-man active NBL roster but the Kings remain high on his upside according to Van Groningen.

"We haven't seen the last of Deng Acuoth who continues to work hard with us every day at practice. He's got a great future and we look forward to continuing that with him", he said.

After looking closely at Turner during a stretch of practice sessions over the past two weeks the club determined that he fit well both on and off the court.

Turner will make his Sydney Kings debut this Saturday afternoon as the team faces the Adelaide 36ers at Qudos Bank Arena at 2.15pm.

 

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News Corp Australia


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