The National Basketball League (NBL) is set for one of the most competitive seasons to date, with NBA veteran Josh Childress recommitting to the Sydney Kings and joining a number of high-profile players that are gearing up for the 2015/16 NBL season.
Executive Director of the NBL Larry Kestelman said he was excited to have Childress back in the league as it rebrands for the 2015/16 season with the aim of repositioning the NBL as the number one entertainment sport in Australia.
Childress is only one of many high-profile players returning for the 2015/16 NBL season, with Australian fan favourites Chris Goulding (Melbourne United) AJ Ogilivy (Illawarra Hawks) and Julian Khazzouh (Sydney Kings) all coming home after successful stints in Europe.
“We have an ambitious agenda for the league as we undertake a 100-day plan to refresh our entire digital offering, rebrand, secure a broadcast deal, and bring major sponsors onboard,” Mr Kestelman said.
“For our players and our fans, that means the opportunity to be a part of a new and exciting NBL that will deliver a product it hasn’t been able to deliver before now. The talent the league is attracting at the moment demonstrates that great players are excited about coming home to Australia to be a part of the new NBL.”
Childress, 32, has 391 NBA games under his belt and became an international basketball trailblazer when he opted to play for the Olympiacos Piraeus in Greece instead of the NBA, signing a lucrative three-year $20 million contract.
He joined the Sydney Kings ahead of the 2014/15 season after being amnestied by the Phoenix Suns, lighting up the NBL and going on to lead the League in scoring and rebounding with 21 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.
The small forward also came third in the 2015 NBL MVP race despite only playing 18 games and having his season cut short with a torn pectoral muscle.
Sydney Kings’ Head of Basketball Operations Tim Hudson said that re-signing a player of Childress’ caliber speaks volumes for the league.
“Josh has had experience around the world and the fact that he wants to come back to the NBL just proves the strength of the competition here and is the ultimate reflection of the organisation.
“Josh really enjoyed his time with the Kings, loved playing in the NBL and he was an incredible part of the competition and a huge asset to the club.
“We couldn’t be happier that he wants to return and we know the Sydney Kings fans will feel the same way.”