The Southland Sharks have today confirmed its third and final import player for the 2023 Sal’s New Zealand National Basketball League, announcing Australian Grant Anticevich will debut for the team next month.
Anticevich joins American point guard Jeremy Kendle and returning Jamaican centre Romaro Gill as the international quota in this year’s squad and comes fresh from his first professional season with the South East Melbourne Phoenix in the Australian NBL.
Head coach Guy Molloy is rapt to secure Anticevich and believes he is a perfect fit for his first Sharks’ squad.
“Grant is a rising star in Australian basketball, having just completed his first full A-NBL season. He is a fine ‘stretch-4’ shooter and can defend and rebound very well also. He has an ideal skill set for our game style & I look forward to an excellent first season for him in the NZNBL,” Molloy said.
Anticevich is just as keen to make his mark in the New Zealand league.
“It was a really good year for me at the Phoenix. Obviously, it was my rookie year, so I learnt a lot and it was just a great experience being surrounded by a lot of great guys and it was good to get my first taste of professional basketball in an environment like that,” Anticevich said.
The 2.06-metre 24 year-old forward spent much of the season going up against NBL All Star Mitch Creek at Phoenix training who he said took Anticevich under his wing which will hold him in great stead for the season ahead.
“I feel like of improved a whole lot over the last seven or eight months since I became a professional both in terms of experience and as a player, so I’m really excited to get out on court,” he said.
Anticevich’s NBL experience followed a five-year US college playing stint for the California Golden Bears.
“Playing in the Pac-12 meant that it was a high level of basketball every game so for me I really grew during my time at Cal and that helped me get ready for the NBL and the style of play which made it a nice smooth transition into the professional ranks,” Anticevich said.
“I know the New Zealand league is a really competitive league and there are a few of my South East Melbourne team mates who will also be playing which I’m really excited about. I went to the same High School as Nick Kay, so I think it’s pretty cool to play for the same club as him and I’ve heard only the best things about the people and the organisation so I’m really grateful to come and play,” he said.
Anticevich and the Southland Sharks open their 2023 Sal’s NBL campaign on Good Friday (April 7) at 7:00pm against the Manawatu Jets at ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill. Season tickets to all nine home games are on sale now from Stadium reception with individual game tickets available later this month.