Hungry Jack's NBL
Kouat Noi Signs in Sydney
The Sydney Kings have announced the signing of former Cairns Taipans forward Kouat Noi.
The 24-year-old Newcastle product has spent the past three seasons with the Taipans and has signed a two-year deal with the Kings (team option for the second year).
Noi heads to the Harbour City with a point to prove.
“I definitely have a lot to show,” Noi said.
“The past three seasons with Cairns I don’t feel like I’ve shown what I’m capable of and talking to coach Chase Buford and CEO Chris Pongrass, that’s why I’m coming to Sydney.
“I’m already feeling stronger. I’m playing in the NBL1 and performing, trying to get consistent. Once the NBL season starts I’m going to be ready to go.”
And he has no fear of moving from Cairns into the glaring spotlight of the Hoops Capital.
“I think that’s where I belong honestly ... bright lights, big city, big organisation … I think I’m going to fit in perfect,” he said.
The South Sudanese-Australian finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in 2020 between now bona fide NBA star LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton.
His next two seasons were hampered by injury, but Noi is intending his journey to Sydney to be a pathway to redemption.
“I chose Sydney because all of the players who have been through the organisation end up in great situations either in the NBA or with good contracts,” Noi said.
“This is the right opportunity to go out there, play my game and show the world how much potential I still have.”
And he will be among some familiar faces.
Noi played much of his junior career alongside or against Angus Glover and Jayden Hodgson and was on the starting five alongside Dejan Vasiljevic in the Australian under 17 team which won the silver medal at the FIBA Under 17 World Championships in Dubai.
Kings CEO Chris Pongrass said the reigning champions were excited to have Noi join the group.
“Kouat has had rough run with injury but he’s a player with great upside,” Pongrass said.
“He is a player with a lot of talent and one who can make a real impact on our playing group.
“We’re focussed on helping Kouat get his body right, play a full season and can realise that enormous potential he has.”
Noi is currently playing in the NBL1 North conference for Rip City alongside Kings championship guard and now Illawarra Hawk Wani Swaka Lo Buluk.
Noi is coming off a big weekend, having 31 points and 20 rebounds in a big win over Rockhampton on Friday night and then 33 points and 13 rebounds in a loss on Saturday to Mackay featuring our own Biwali Bayles and Jaylin Galloway.