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Caroline Sweet Replacement For White

Melbourne United’s final import spot has been filled, with the club signing forward Jordan Caroline on a one-year deal.

Following a successful college career at Southern Illinois and Nevada, which saw him break Andrew Bogut’s conference double-double record, Caroline has spent time playing in the G-League, Israel, Taiwan and Italy.

Standing over 200 centimetres and weighing in around 100 kilograms, Caroline has made a career for himself as a rebounder and defender, while flashing his ability to shoot the three-ball and push the pace in transition.

Looking towards the season, the 26-year-old is eagerly anticipating the opportunity to hit the court and achieve the goals he has set for himself with United.

“Being on a team that’s used to having a lot of success excites me a lot because above all else I pride myself on being a winner,” Caroline said.

“When you’re playing with a talented group of guys with high expectations it makes you be the best that you can be for the team every day. I think we’ve got the talent to make these expectations become reality.”

Caroline is already very familiar with one of his newest teammates, the recently signed Rayjon Tucker, who he has been playing against since the pair were teenagers.

“Rayjon is a guy I’ve been going against since high school, so it’s pretty cool that we’ll be playing together for United,” Caroline said.

“We’d just always stayed in touch, it’s crazy that we get to play together now because it felt like every step of the way we had to go against each other.

“I’m just happy that he’s not going to be trying to dunk on me anymore, 1,000 per cent.”

Bringing with him an elite interior presence, coach Dean Vickerman believes the addition of Caroline will go a long way in steering United during the season.

“Talking to the people who have coached him and who are around him, his hustle and intensity is the first thing they mention,” Vickerman said.

“The competitiveness that he plays at, the winning plays he’s willing to make, he’s absolutely fearless and more often than not he’s being rewarded for that effort.”

Vickerman also believes Caroline can help replace Jack White, who has signed with the Denver Nuggets in the NBA.

“Replacing Jack White was a major challenge of the off-season. Everything he brings to the court, his rebounding, his pace, his athleticism, it all makes for a challenging recruitment, however when we saw Jordan play he just stood out in all those aspects,” Vickerman said.

“We’re bringing in a guy in his prime who has been a big time player in college, but also has four years of strong pro experience. He’s got the ability to slide in and play some small-ball five for us so he really helps our versatility.”

A high school teammate of NBA All-Stars Ben Simmons and D’Angelo Russell, Caroline is used to playing under the bright lights as he heads down to Melbourne.

Caroline will take up United’s final import slot, and joins Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Rayjon Tucker, Isaac Humphries, Makuach Maluach and Joshua Duach as new players on Melbourne’s roster.

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