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Taipans add body with Egwu

The Cairns Taipans have signed centre Nnanna Egwu (EGG-woo) to their third and final import spot.

The 23-year old American recently played for the Erie BayHawks in the NBA D-League, averaging 9.2 points and 7.2 rebounds in the 2015/16 season. Head Coach Aaron Fearne scouted Egwu at this year’s NBA Summer League after receiving recommendations from Orlando Magic’s Conner Henry. “We watched him play in the Summer League in Orlando. Connor Henry, who previously coached in Perth and is now an assistant coach for the Orlando Magic provided good intel on him as a player, person and team mate,” explained Fearne. “After speaking with the Erie BayHawks, reports were all very consistent to what I had observed. “He will bring tremendous work ethic. I love his talk defensively and from the off-set you can tell he’s very hungry and wants to be successful.” Born in Nigeria, Egwu was raised in Chicago and fielded a number of basketball scholarships before selecting the University of Illinois. As a senior, Edwu averaged 6.5 points and 5.9 rebounds across 33 games, while leading the Fighting Illini in blocked shots from 2013-2015. His 201 career blocks holds the record for the best in the school’s history, and he went on to earn 2015 Big Ten All-Defensive Team honours and an invitation to join the Orlando Magic for Summer League. Egwu appeared in five pre-season games with the Magic, before being acquired by the Erie BayHawks as an affiliate player. “We wanted to get a legitimate athlete – and we needed a big body to compliment Nate [Jawai] with the ability to play with him,” said Fearne. “He shoots extremely well for a big guy and has range on his jumper. “We’re aiming to get better at rebounding, better on the defensive end, and be a tougher team inside. Adding Nate and Nnanna should accomplish that.” Egwu joins Travis Trice and Fuquan Edwin in the import positions for the Taipans’ 2016/17 NBL campaign. The Cairns Taipans begin their pre-season this Sunday, hosting the Eastern Washington Eagles at 4:00pm. Trice has been cleared to play and will suit up for the first time at Early Settler Stadium. ENDS
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