The Southland Sharks today added a new name ahead of this year's New Zealand National Basketball League with confirmation of Jaylen Gerrand's signing for the 2022 competition.
Gerrand is no stranger to the NBL, entering his seventh season in the league having debuted for the Supercity Rangers in 2014, where he played for three seasons, along with stops with the Taranaki Mountainairs, Auckland Huskies and last season with the Franklin Bulls.
He was a consistent performer for the Bulls last season, playing in all 18 regular season games and averaging career-best marks in both points (8.1 per game) and rebounds (1.7).
The opportunity to develop his game further under the tutelage of Sharks' Head Coach Rob Beveridge was particularly attractive.
“It's a crazy experience to be able to play for him. He so deserves the opportunity to coach the Boomers and it's just incredible that I will get to learn from someone like that. I've heard nothing but good things about Bevo and we've had a good chat so I can't wait to play for him," Gerrand said.
He plans to use some long term friendships with fellow squad members to his advantage this year.
"I've played with Zo (Burton) for many years so I'm excited to play with him and I'm good mates with Dom (Kelman-Poto) and Brayden (Inger) so it will be awesome to play alongside them as well as the other boys. I like to play fast, enjoy having fun out there and a lot of smiles so I should fit in hopefully," he said.
Gerrand also has plans off the court for his Southland experience.
"I'll be studying while I'm down, so it's great that I can focus on that and on my game. I've been down to Invercargill to play in the Shark Tank a few times, so I'm really looking forward to getting down there and having the crowd behind me instead of against me," he said.
Coach Rob Beveridge believes the Sharks have added an under-the-radar talent with great potential to flourish in the Sharks' environment.
"Jaylen is an experienced point guard who I believe has been under-utilised in his previous roles with other teams. Jaylen is very strong physically and has an ability to get to the rim and knock down the open shot. His toughness that he will bring to the team is going to be great for our squad," Beveridge said.
The 2022 Sal's NBL is scheduled to tip off in early April with the Southland Sharks opening their campaign at ILt Stadium Southland against Taranaki on Saturday 9 April at 5:30pm.