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Kendle returns to Sharks and NZNBL

The Southland Sharks have announced another key signing for the 2023 Sal’s New Zealand National Basketball League with news today Australian-based American point guard Jeremy Kendle will return for his third stint in the competition.

Kendle, who has lined up previously for the Canterbury Rams and Auckland Huskies, played two games as an injury replacement for the Sharks in 2019, suiting up for two road games as cover for Mitch McCarron. The 34-year-old veteran is looking forward to a full season in orange and making it to Invercargill.

“When I played for the Sharks in 2019 it was right before I tore my ACL. Those were the last games I played. So, I’m looking forward to getting down to Invercargill this time, getting to see the town, meeting everybody and getting in the community,” Kendle said.

New surroundings won’t be an issue for the Sharks’ second 2023 import announcement, who is adding another city to his extensive basketball resume.

“I have spent the last two seasons in the NBL1 North playing for the Logan Thunder. I think I would have played for at least a dozen teams in this part of the world since 2015 but I’m looking forward to getting back to New Zealand. My wife is from Nelson so it's very sentimental to get back there and means a lot to our family,” he said.

Kendle has had success on both sides of Tasman, marshalling the Thunder to its best performance in team history over the last two seasons after previously winning an NBL1 title with Bendigo and helping the Canterbury Rams to a top four finish in the NZNBL in 2017.

“My conversations with Guy have been phenomenal. Our value systems align and that was a big one for me. I wanted to play under leadership that I felt aligned with for character, for style of play and for culture. Having an opportunity to lead and be myself was so important and I feel very comfortable that all that is going to be the case in Southland.”

“I know the team is coming off a down season so hopefully guys come in hungry and ready to get better and compete. A lot of times when you get humbled a little bit as a player and as a person it lights something inside of you, so hopefully we can all collectively have that motivation and come together and make a run of it this season,” Kendle said.

Sharks’ Head Coach Guy Molloy was delighted to secure Kendle as his floor general for the upcoming campaign.

“I’m really pleased to bring Jeremy to the club. He has made a significant difference to every team that he’s played for, either full-season or short stint, as he has done several times before in the NZNBL. I wanted a guard that was highly skilled in pick and roll play and can both pass & score. Jeremy is going to be a terrific leader for the Sharks,” Molloy said.

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 from next month.

Jeremy Kendle in action for the Southland Sharks during the 2019 Sal’s New Zealand National Basketball League. Credit: Photosport

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