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Melbourne sign NBA veteran Hakim Warrick

CTI Melbourne United today announced the signing of experienced NBA power forward Hakim Warrick to replace import Ekene Ibekwe who was released on Friday. Warrick arrives in Melbourne today and will join the team for the NBL pre-season Blitz in Townsville on Wednesday. If immigration paperwork is completed he could make his club debut during the tournament. Warrick, a 206cm and 99kg athletic rebounder and dangerous offensive threat, has an impressive resume highlighted by eight seasons in the NBA and an NCAA National Championship with Syracuse. Warrick has most recently played in Turkey for Torku Konyaspor and has been working out with the Atlanta Hawks prior to the signing. Melbourne United CEO Vince Crivelli said that the club was pleased to have signed such a high calibre talent. “Hakim is a strong replacement for Ekene, we think he can give us scoring punch and leadership that comes with being an eight year veteran in the world’s premier league,” Crivelli said. “We think his skills will complement the team we have assembled, and fans will love his athletic above-the-rim playing style, we can’t wait to get him on the floor”. Warrick, 33, is excited to be joining Melbourne. “My friend Josh Childress has told me great things about the NBL, so to get the opportunity to come to a city like Melbourne and be part of a Championship push is something I’m going to relish,” Warrick said. “I’m looking forward to meeting my teammates and getting down to work immediately.” Warrick was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2005 where he spent four seasons before stints with Milwaukee, Chicago, Phoenix, Charlotte and New Orleans averaging 9.4 points per game over his career with career highs of 31 points and 16 rebounds in one game. He also played a starring role on the 2003 Syracuse NCAA National Championship team making a game-winning block in the final seconds. Promising to be one of the most highly credentialed and experienced international players ever signed by a Melbourne NBL team, Warrick also had a reputation as one of the NBA’s most entertaining dunkers, competing in the NBA Slam Dunk competition in his rookie season. Warrick played with fellow NBL import, Sydney King Josh Childress, at the Phoenix Suns, making the showdown between Melbourne and Sydney on November 1 at Hisense Arena a must-watch. Melbourne United agreed to release Ekene Ibekwe on compassionate terms last Friday to return to Europe to be with his pregnant partner. The ongoing nature of that issue has allowed Melbourne to deal quickly for a replacement. Melbourne United tip-off their season on Friday 9 October against Townsville before their first home game at Hisense Arena against Illawarra on October 11 at 3pm.
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