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Phoenix Add Brandon Ashley

The South East Melbourne Phoenix have signed American power forward Brandon Ashley for the remainder of the season.

Originally from San Francisco, California, Ashley played college basketball in Arizona, before going undrafted but spending time with the Atlanta Hawks during the NBA Summer League and pre-season with the Dallas Mavericks.

He then joined Texas Legends in the NBA Development League before making his trade internationally, with Germany being his first stop in for the 2015/16 season.

He played 15 games for the NBA G League Ignite this season, before joining Fortituto Kontatto Bologna in the Italy.

Ashley and his long wingspan are no strangers to the NBL, he spent NBL20 with the New Zealand Breakers, averaging 10.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 0.8 assists for the season.

“I am very excited to be a part of this organisation and coming back to the NBL again,” Ashley said.

“I know how much talent there is in this league and I’m looking forward to being able to compete at a high level with a team that I believe can win it all.”

Head coach Simon Mitchell said the fact Ashley has been playing in Italy and is in playing shape was an important factor in his signing.

"This was of huge importance to us as we need him to hit the ground running," he said.

"He has NBL experience which always helps, especially with bigs as they tend to need a period of time adjusting to the style of the league and how things are called. He has been through this, experienced it and will be better for it.

"He brings us increased depth to our frontline. He has great length, athleticism and can guard most guys in the league on the perimeter. He can excel in multiple pick and roll coverages, protects the rim and is a difficult proposition to score over or through. He is above the rim, has good hands-on short rolls and an efficient operator. I think he will have the ability to thrive in our system at both forward and centre."

Phoenix CEO Tommy Greer is excited about what Ashley will add to the Phoenix line up.

"Brandon is the perfect player for our current team make up, he'll add to our rebounding, defence and length. We're excited to get him over as quickly as we can and get him out on court," he said. "He's a high-level player who makes our squad even better."

Ashley is expected to arrive in Melbourne this week and join the team immediately.

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