Hungry Jack's NBL
The "true NBA player" impressing United
Melbourne United centre Ariel Hukporti is “a true NBA player” according to his coach Dean Vickerman.
The NBL Next Star is ranked 49th in ESPN’s draft board for next year’s NBA draft and Vickerman believes the German sensation is only going to get better.
“Ariel can be anything. He is just amazing,” Vickerman told The Huddle.
“The athleticism is not indifferent, or better, than Shawn Long, his sprint is right up there with Jo Lual-Acuil when he just sprints and then the shot blocking is continuing to impress.
“We've got to get his fitness to another level. We've taken it slowly with him, but he is engaged and (active) when he's got energy.
“He is a true NBA player. I look forward to seeing the growth in him. He's just happy and he's a fun guy to be around and if we get him in great shape, he can go do well in the draft.”
Hukporti will be a key force in United’s title defence alongside a roster which includes Lual-Acuil, David Barlow, Brad Newley, Chris Goulding, Dion Prewster, Shea Ili, Jack White, Callum Dalton, William Hickey, Mason Peatling, Zac Triplett, David Okwera, Caleb Agada and Matthew Dellavedova.
Melbourne’s season begins on December 5 against the Sydney Kings. Tip-off is at 3pm AEDT and the game will be broadcast on ESPN, Kayo Freebies and 10 Peach.