The SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks have landed a big fish to aide in its New Zealand National Basketball League title defence. Melbourne United and Australian shooting guard Mitch McCarron will join the Sharks in 2019 for the Sal’s NBL which tips off next month.
McCarron has been a revelation for Melbourne in this year’s competition, averaging 11.7 points per game to go with 5.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists. He has been a key cog in United’s push to the NBL finals and has featured in the Australian Boomers FIBA World Cup qualifying.
McCarron is looking forward to adding Invercargill to his basketball resume, one which already includes the Australian Institute of Sport, Metropolitan State University of Denver in the United States, Spain, Cairns, the NZ NBL’s Supercity Rangers, Slovenia and Melbourne.
“I think we’ll have a lot of fun. Obviously some of my mates have played for the Sharks, Mitch Norton, Nick Kay and Jarrad Weeks and they had nothing but good things to say about the club, Judd, the culture and how much fun it is to play for the fans down there so it will be really cool to experience that and especially to share the floor with Weeksy again after the two years we spent together with the Cairns Taipans,” McCarron said.
After doing his due diligence, he said it wasn’t just the Sharks’ on-court performances which led to his decision to journey south.
“When you are talking about being as professional as you can be you’ve got to look after the off-the-court stuff and that’s where Southland really stands out in terms of their support and medical staff and that was a massive tick in the box and really impressive,” he said.
Head coach Judd Flavell is delighted to secure McCarron’s services for what is shaping up to be an ultra-competitive league.
“Mitch is playing at a high level and he is the kind of guy who would have had options. It says a lot about what we have been trying to create over the last few years here at the Sharks that we have been able to get him,” Flavell said.
McCarron will be in action for Melbourne United in the Australian NBL playoffs, lining up against the Sydney Kings in the first of a three-game semi-final series tonight (Thursday).
The 2019 Sal’s NBL begins on Thursday 11 April with the Sharks opening their title defence on Sunday 14 April against the Canterbury Rams.
Season tickets, including a special 10-year Anniversary VIP pass, are available now from ILT Stadium Southland. For more information visit www.sharksbasketball.co.nz/tickets.