John Roberson isn't as well-known to NBL fans as Casper Ware or Bryce Cotto, but South East Melbourne Phoenix think their new import point guard could be every bit as damaging.
The Phoenix will have the import point guard to steer the club through their inaugural NBL season.
Roberson has signed on for the 2019-2020 season and the 30-year old brings with him years of European experience and a reputation as a lights-out three-point shooter.
Roberson played with Russian club Enisey in Siberia last year and was named "best jump-shooter" in the VTB League. He has previously played for celebrated sides such as ASVEL in France, and he set a EuroCup record in 2017 with 11 three-pointers in a game.
"I'm super excited to join the Phoenix in their first year, great opportunity to get off to a good start, to put our stamp on the league, and to compete in one of the best leagues in the world and one of the best cities," Roberson said.
Phoenix coach Simon Mitchell said Roberson was on his list for several years as someone who would thrive in the NBL where smaller, explosive guards like Ware and Cotton have dominated in recent seasons.
"John has been on my radar for three or four years now as one of the premier playmakers in Europe and a player I always hoped would play in the NBL," Mitchell said.
"He is the consummate playmaker, unselfish, efficient, and he brings the care, value and energy at both ends of the floor.
"I think to compete in this league you need that guy who can go head-to-head with Casper Ware and Bryce Cotton and we got that in John.
"John has an incredible talent for creating space off the dribble and he is such a high-level shooter once that space has been created.
"It's a world class skill set."
While Roberson looks forward to taking on the elite guards in the NBL, he also looks forward to tutoring the league's exciting Next Stars signing in US high schoolers LaMelo Ball (Illawarra) , RJ Hampton (New Zealand) and Terry Armstrong (South East Melbourne).
"After Siberia, I'm excited to be moving to a much warmer climate," Roberson said.
"I'm looking forward to playing against the level of competition in the NBL and getting a look at some great high school talent. Guys like RJ Hampton, LaMelo Ball and getting to play with our own high school talent Terry Armstrong.
"It will be great to play against the new generation of basketball."
The Phoenix remain in a waiting game about the future of franchise player Mitch Creek, who has starred in the NBA Summer League so could still make an NBA roster for next season.
South East Melbourne Phoenix roster: Mitch Creek (if not in the NBA), Tai Wesley, Ben Madgen, Kyle Adnam, Terry Armstrong, Deng Acouth, Dane Pineau, Dan Trist, Kendall Stephens, Adam Gibson, John Roberson.
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