The Cairns Taipans have signed 6’5” Australian guard Kuany Kuany to their program for the next two years, as their ninth rostered player for the upcoming 2017/18 NBL season.
Kuany joins the Taipans for his first NBL contract, after attending Chaminade University of Honolulu, where he averaged 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists in his senior year, playing all 26 games.
The 22-year old graduates third in the school’s all-time scoring list (1,600 points) second in rebounding (876) and was the program’s first ever four-time All-Pacific West Conference selection.
“Kuany’s had an outstanding career at Chaminade – they have a really good Division II program. They’re part of the Maui Invitational that plays against some of the best Division I schools in the country,” said Cairns Taipans Head Coach Aaron Fearne.
“He posted really consistent numbers over his four-year career, which is a fairly good marker for me. It’s very evident that Division II players with numbers like that, can come into the NBL and perform at a great level. There’s nothing to say he won’t come in and perform like that in his first season.”
Born in South Sudan, Kuany moved to Melbourne when he was nine years old and went to St. Kevin’s College where he was named his team’s MVP in 2011 and 2012. He was also named the Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL) Rising Star in 2011.
Kuany was invited to Cairns last month to train with the team and meet with front office staff as well as Taipans coaches. Ahead of his NBL debut, he will join the Cairns Marlins for the remainder of the QBL season, and will suit up for his first hit out in Townsville.
“We really liked what we saw when he came up for those few days. He worked out with our guys, and practiced with the Marlins. We put him through his paces and he caught the eye of our Taipans players. We were all impressed with what he was able to provide,” said Fearne.
“I’m glad he has the opportunity to play Marlins and learn our system while playing in the QBL. The Marlins are obviously a development program for us, and he’ll get to play with Damo, Weeksy, Fish and now Stevie. Coach Jamie [Pearlman] will be able to lay down the expectations for him and hopefully we can hit the ground running when our pre-season begins.”
On his return to Australia, Kuany spoke to a number of NBL teams, but said he chose Cairns for their focus on player development, club success and culture.
“I spoke to a couple of clubs when I came back, but when Fearney got me to Cairns, I knew I could really fit in here. I really liked the weather – it’s similar to Hawaii – and I enjoyed my time with the team. I could immediately see it was a good group to be around and the coaches were great,” said Kuany.
“First and foremost, I want to be a good team mate. I can play defence as well as offence, so I think I’ll bring a bit of everything but I’m prepared to play my role. I know last year the Taipans finished second overall and just fell short, so hopefully I can help them make it to the Grand Final this year.”