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Perth Locks in Third Import

The Perth Wildcats have strengthened their roster with the signing of American big Brady Manek.

Following an outstanding college career with North Carolina and Oklahoma, the 23-year-old sharp-shooter is looking forward to making his way down under for his first professional season.

“I’m really comfortable with the decision and I’m excited to get to Perth and back to basketball. Now that I’ve found a good spot, I’m super excited,” Manek said.

“I think I’ve done a lot in my basketball career, and now for my professional career I’m excited to take my first step with Perth, and I’m really glad they’re going to take a chance on me and help me grow.

“I think I can be more than just a shooter, I can be a guy who plays well with others, a guy who works hard, someone who tries to bring the best out of his team. I always try to be a good teammate, and I want to win.”

At 206 centimetres and 105 kilograms, Manek is versatile with elite shot-making ability around the perimeter.

The Oklahoman recently represented the Charlotte Hornets at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, averaging seven points and four rebounds per game, in just over 14 minutes of action.

Wildcats head coach John Rillie said Manek has been a standout on the recruitment radar.

“I watched Brady in Summer League and got great feedback from both the Hornets and both of his college teams. He always gives great effort, and he wants to get better,” Rillie said.

“Everyone is going to talk about his shooting, but I also think his passing, decision making and just being a good teammate are also things people are going to love.

“He’s a passionate competitor so I think the fans will embrace the enthusiasm that he plays the game with.”

After four impressive years of college basketball at Oklahoma, Manek transferred to North Carolina and played an essential role in UNC’s run to the 2022 NCAA championship game.

He averaged 15.1 points per game and scored over 40 per cent from behind the arc for the Tar Heels, on his way to earning the Riley Wallace Player of the Year Award - given to the top transfer player in college basketball.

Perth GM of basketball operations Danny Mills said Manek perfectly complements the roster.

“He’s a great fit given his ability to space the floor as an efficient high-volume shooter with a high basketball IQ and good feel as an off-ball cutter and finisher around the basket,” Mills said.

“His size and length will give us added versatility on the defensive end as well a presence on the glass at both ends.

“The Red Army are going to love his competitiveness and the tough, no nonsense relentless edge he plays with. We are extremely excited to get him down here to Perth and playing in front of a packed-out RAC Arena.”

Manek joins TaShawn Thomas and Corey Webster as new faces on the Wildcats’ roster.

Perth’s campaign tips-off on October 2 against the Brisbane Bullets.

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