Rams Sharpen Their Horns With New Signings

The Wheeler Motor Company Canterbury Rams are close to rounding out their active Sal’s NBL squad with the additions of Sam Smith and Jonathan Janssen.

Each player has spent time in the American NCAA system and are set to stamp their mark on New Zealand’s premier basketball competition.

Janssen previously attended Cleveland State University before transferring to Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) to finish his college career. He averaged 14 points and 7 rebounds while shooting 39% from deep during his Junior year at HPU. Janseen threat from beyond the arc will open up the floor for his new teammates, while also being capable of pulling down boards at both ends.

Rams Head Coach Mick Downer says Janssen isn’t your typical big man.

“We are really excited to sign Jono and have him coming in to start his professional career in Canterbury. He is a versatile player 6’9 big man who can play inside and on the perimeter.”

Tauranga native Smith joins the Rams off the back of collegiate play in Indianapolis and Texas. Smith averaged 11 points and, 7 rebounds and 4 assists across his Freshman and Sophomore year at Brown Mackie College, before moving to Texas Wesleyan University for his Junior and Senior year.

Smith was also a part of Canterbury’s recent U23 national dominance, where he has won numerous national titles and been selected to three consecutive tournament teams (2016-18).

Downer says he hopes to further develop Smith’s ability whilst under his wing.

“We look forward to having Sam play for the Rams this year and can’t wait to see what he will bring to the team! Sam is a versatile player who contributes in multiple ways on the defensive and offensive end.””

The Rams are coming off a season in which 6,000 attended the Rams vs Saints game at Horncastle Arena which was a Sal’s NBL Record Crowd. The team is looking forward to taking 2 games to Horncastle Arena in 2019.

The Sal’s NBL Season begins on Thursday April 11, with the Rams opening their account against the Southland Sharks on Sunday April 14.

Season memberships are available now from Cowles Stadium. For more information visit


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