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Sydney Sign South Sudanese NT Guard Jackson Makoi

Anyiarbany Makoi, better known as Jackson Makoi, who has shone as the emerging starting point guard for the South Sudan national team has signed as a development player with the Sydney Kings. 

Jackson was born in Egypt before moving to Australia at a young age and growing up in Melbourne, but moved to the US in 2019 to play high school basketball. 

In 2021 he signed his first professional contract to play for Vrijednosnice Osijek in the Croatian league, but made the world take notice as starting point guard for the young South Sudanese team which made the quarter finals of its first major tournament in AfroBasket 2021. 

The 196 cm, athletic 21-year-old said he was keen to get to the Kings and the NBL to develop his talents to the next level. The deal will mean Jackson will be a development player for the first year with a team option on the second year. 

“I grew up in Australia therefore I’ve been aware of the talent and competition of the NBL all my life,” Jackson said. 

“The Kings have always been a quality club in my eyes not to mention they’ve just come off a championship and I’ve seen success with the young players they’ve developed. 

“Sydney will be getting a hard worker. Somebody’s who completely bought into the program. On the court I feel like I’ll be a great facilitator who can score, especially playing with such talented players and a great coaching staff.” 

Jackson said he was keen to grow under coach Chase Buford and the high calibre support staff at the Kings. 

“I need to develop a consistent jumper but most importantly I want to learn as much as possible,” he said. 

“Playing the point guard comes with great responsibility and understanding the game from as many aspects will make my life easier as well as my teammates. 

“I just want to improve as much as possible so that I can play at the highest level possible. My goal will always be the NBA.” 

Kings CEO Chris Pongrass said it was exciting for the reigning champions to secure an emerging young international talent like Jackson. 

“Jackson is a player with great upside and we’re keen to help him to achieve his full potential,” Pongrass said. 

“Jackson is someone who has great size and length as a point guard. He’s quickly become a fan favourite of the South Sudanese team and I’m sure the Sydney Kings fans will love him too.” 

Jackson joins Xavier Cooks, Shaun Bruce, Dejan Vasiljevic, Angus Glover, Biwali Bayles, Jaylin Galloway, Jordan Hunter and Kouat Noi on the Kings’ list for upcoming season.  

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