Hungry Jack's NBL
Snakes steal Agent 97
The Cairns Taipans have announced athletic point guard Jarrad Weeks as their first new player signing for the 2016/17 NBL season. Weeks was a vital member of the Illawarra Hawks roster that led the League in scoring last year, and swiftly became a fan favourite along the way due to his high energy work rate and infectious personality. Beginning his NBL career as a development player with the Sydney Kings in 2011, Weeks managed 24 games over three seasons in the Harbour City. The 26-year old initially joined the Illawarra Hawks last year on a four-week contract as an injury replacement for Rhys Martin, but extended his stay when Tyson Demos was ruled out for the season. Weeks’ 42.6 per cent shooting from the three-point line was third best in the League last season by all players with at least 50 attempts – only behind Daniel Kickert and Kirk Penney. Head coach Aaron Fearne said signing Weeks on a two-year deal was a coup for the club. “We’re really looking forward to bringing Jarrad in – he’s an incredible example of a player who continued to work hard, and grabbed an opportunity with both hands when it was presented,” said Fearne. “He definitely impressed us last season, and the biggest upside for us is that he’s a very exciting player who is hungry and determined. “His athleticism and quickness will be a benefit we didn’t have last year in that position. He plays fearlessly and shoots the ball really well.” Whilst averaging 6.1 points per game in 2015/16, Weeks showed an affinity for the Cairns Convention Centre where he averaged 13 points per game in his two visits. He signs with the Snakes for his first full-time NBL contract. “I’m very, very happy to join the Cairns Taipans. This club has had a really successful program for a while now, and I’m just excited to be part of that system,” said Weeks. “It’s definitely interesting to have a contract at this time of year – so early in the free agency period – but Aaron showed interest and trust in me early. “I’m at a pivotal point in my career so learning and developing under him and the other coaching staff will be invaluable.” Weeks was presented with the Hawks blood singlet at the start of last season – only to be worn during his short tenure – but quickly generated into a League-wide nickname as ‘Agent 97,’ and even spurred his own merchandise range. “My season with the Hawks definitely instilled a lot of confidence in me that I didn’t have before,” said Weeks. “Of course I’m hoping I’ll be able to take that the Cairns. The coaching staff are so knowledgeable and experienced, I’m going to go with an open mind, play my role and try get even better.” Weeks is currently playing for the Hobart Chargers where he is averaging 21.8 points per game. The Chargers are undefeated after the first four games of the SEABL season. He will join the Cairns Taipans ahead of the NBL pre-season in August.