The Southland Sharks have signed American point guard Daishon Knight for the remainder of the 2022 New Zealand National Basketball League season.
Knight, who will be well known to southern supporters having played for the Manawatu Jets for three seasons between 2018 and 2021, will link with the team this weekend ahead of the Sharks’ clash with his former team on Sunday evening at 5:00pm.
“I’m excited to come and join Southland. During my time in New Zealand they have always been a team that’s respected and I reached out to some former players and they all told me how they loved it down here, that the people were great and they all had amazing experiences,” Knight said.
“I know it (the season) has started off rough, but we have time. We have nine more games left and we can make a run at it. Southland is a good team regardless, before I have come in. I know the players and I know they can play so we have time, and we can still do something special this year. I’m excited to take that on and help make it work,” he said.
Since playing in last year’s Sal’s NBL when he averaged over 23 points, six rebounds and five assists per game, he has played in Turkey, Switzerland and two stints in Bulgaria.
Knight is well known for his energy and competitiveness on-court, something Sharks’ Interim Head Coach Leyton Haddleton sees as a major positive for his team.
“I think the best thing about Daishon is that he is an absolute competitor so he’s going to drive our energy levels and challenge us to be better. He attacks the paint and is going to command attention there which will allow for better shots for our perimeter shooters,” Haddleton said.
“Knowing who Daishon is as a player and his skillset, he’s going to bring real grit. He’s been around the world and knows our League so he’s going to be a great fit for our team,” he said.
The Sharks will be without star forward Dom Kelman-Poto this weekend who is on national duty with the Tall Blacks 3X3 team ahead of next week’s FIBA World Cup in Antwerp, Belgium.
“The whole team is aware that Dom will be missing so everyone is going to have to do their part. Getting our confidence back is important and to have someone like Daishon coming in with some attitude about him and some swagger is going to help us big time,” Haddleton said.
Tickets for Sunday game against Manawatu are available at ILT Stadium Southland throughout the weekend or online at ticketek.co.nz.