Monday, 19 February 2007

Slam Dunk "Superman" for Otago Nuggets

The Otago Nuggets basketball team have confirmed two new imports for the 2007 season... one a friend of the coach's fresh from the Aussie NBL, while the other is expected to raise the roof at Dunedin's Lion Arena.

24-year old American guard/forward Jameel Pugh arrived in Dunedin this week, with a reputation as one of the best slam dunkers in the business.

(Check out this old HoopsTV video of the self-proclaimed Superman's dunking abilities, including what's labelled a 50-inch vertical... The sound's a bit out-of-sync for some reason, but the videos all good!)

"Human highlight reel" Jameel Pugh was drafted by the Dakota Wizards in the NBA's National Basketball Development League in 2006, but it's in US slam dunk contests that he's made his name. Pugh was named by Slam Magazine as the World's Best Dunker in 2000, and the 33rd best dunker of all time.

Otago Nuggets coach Rick Castle says he didn't choose Pugh purely for his dunking skills, and insists he has no intention of putting together a sideshow. However Coach Castle admits Pugh will "definitely be exciting to watch" and should give long-suffering Nuggets fans something to really cheer about this season.

Jameel Pugh (left); Justin Bailey (right)

Meanwhile, Castle's bringing one of his West Sydney Razorbacks over the ditch to fill the other import spot. 1.88m Point guard Justin Bailey played for the Australian NBL team this season (where Castle was assistant coach), and will be a key leader for Otago on the court.

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