Promis­ing prospect ea­ger to make most of op­por­tu­nity

Crocs sign col­lege star

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MICHAEL THOMPSON michael. thompson@ news. com. au

TOWNSVILLE Crocodiles re­cruit Ni­cholas Kay is de­ter­mined to make the most of his “op­por­tu­nity of a life­time”.

The 22- year- old for­mer Amer­i­can col­lege player is the fifth player to be signed to the Crocs for sea­son 2015/ 16, re­cruited on a two- year deal to join Mitch Nor­ton, Mitch Young, Leon Henry and Clint Steindl on the cur­rent ros­ter.

Now play­ing in the QBL for North­side Wizards, Kay spent four years at Metro State Col­lege, Den­ver, fin­ish­ing sec­ond in the col­lege’s history in games played, fourth in re­bounds and fifth in scor­ing.

A 205cm for­ward/ cen­tre, Kay is av­er­ag­ing 21.6 points and 9.1 re­bounds a game for North­side, which will play fi­nals bas­ket­ball next month.

“This deal hap­pened pretty quickly, but to get here has been a long process,” Kay told the Bul­letin yesterday. “I was al­ways hop­ing to play NBL when I was younger and to have this op­por­tu­nity is huge.

“Just see­ing guys like Mitch Nor­ton grow as play­ers with the Crocs makes you want to fol­low the same path as well, and I’m re­ally grate­ful that the Crocs have given me the op­por­tu­nity.”

Kay ( left) re­cently won a QBL player of the week award fol­low­ing his 43- point game for North­side against the Gold Coast Rollers.

A Tam­worth ju­nior and for­mer AIS rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Kay be­lieves his col­lege ex­pe­ri­ence could help in his prospects of mak­ing an im­pact in the NBL.

“Metro State re­ally helped me de­velop my game and if it wasn’t for them, I def­i­nitely wouldn’t be in the po­si­tion I am now,” he said.

Crocs coach Shawn Dennis praised Kay as one of the bright­est young prospects to come out of the Amer­i­can col­lege sys­tem this year.

“Nick is a very in­tel­li­gent player and we are ex­cited to have such an out­stand­ing tal­ent join the team,” Dennis said.

“Nick will bring a great work ethic and scor­ing into the group. He is very good in tran­si­tion and han­dles the ball very well for a player of his size.”

Pic­tures: ZAK SIM­MONDS

AIM­ING HIGH: Saints cen­tre Nikki Mor­gan in ac­tion, and ( inset from far left) Phoenix goal at­tack Emily Schen­scher, and Mor­gan and Phoenix cen­tre Jess Clarke com­pete for the ball on Mon­day night.

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