The Manawatu Jets have announced the signing of their second restricted player for the upcoming 2019 NBL season.
Anthony Odunsi needed a challenge in 2019. After being a standout performer for the Sandringham Sabres in Australia, he felt he wanted (and needed) an opportunity to play in a superior league to further his playing resume and help prepare him for his long term professional career.
Jets coach, Tim McTamney was more than happy to help Odunsi achieve his goals and McTamney is also quietly confident Odunsi will be of great value to his young Manawatu Jets squad.
“What I do know, after discussions with Anthony, is we are getting an articulate, intelligent man of great character. Our research tells us that his basketball ability is exactly what we require, but he will add a great deal more in terms of his leadership, resilience and mentorship. Our team is full of determined young men and Anthony will help us accelerate their experience and bring them together to form a cohesive unit,” said McTamney.
Odunsi (26) is a 1.93m combo guard who played his college basketball at Houston Baptist University, a Division I college in Houston, Texas. He completed his degree in International Business in 2016 and since then has played in Iceland, Tunisia, France and Australia.
His mother, Mo Odunsi, still resides in Nigeria and sister, Antonia, lives in Houston with her younger brother while studying Engineering.
Odunsi’s links to his home country of Nigeria are strong and he is a proud member of the Nigerian national team. McTamney knows that he will bring this same pride to the Manawatu Jets.
“We already know he looks good in green so the Manawatu Jets were the natural fit for Anthony.”
Odunsi can’t wait to get to New Zealand to begin the next stage of his basketball journey.
“To be able to play basketball at the professional level is a blessing. It is even more of a blessing to be able to come to New Zealand to play. Everyone I have spoken to says it is a wonderful place to visit and play. I am really excited and grateful for the opportunity to play for the Jets and to meet the local fans,” said Odunsi.
The regular season for the Jets takes flight on Thursday 11th April when they take on the Rangers at Fly Palmy Arena.