A familiar face in former Sal’s NBL scoring champion, Daishon Knight, will return to Palmerston North in 2021 to lead the Property Brokers Manawatū Jets in this year’s campaign.
Head Coach Tim McTamney established an excellent working relationship with Knight over the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and recognises the American’s previous experience in New Zealand will allow him to hit the ground running on his arrival.
“Daishon is one of the most skilled guards to ever play in New Zealand, but the thing that impresses me most about him is his willingness to continue developing his game,” McTamney said.
“He is exceptionally coachable and there is no doubting his ability to make an enormous impact on any game. I’m certain Daishon will enjoy the changes we’ve made to the way we play. He watched us at the 2020 Sal’s NBL Showdown and recognised how enjoyable it will be playing with the freedom the system encourages.”
Knight last played for the Jets in 2019 and was widely regarded as one of the toughest matchups in the league. He was also with the Jets In 2018, when he led the league in scoring despite having to carry an exceptionally young side throughout the season.
Despite his success, Knight has continued to make significant improvements to his game, developing a high-level understanding of the professional game and also making changes to his shooting technique. This development has allowed him to play at very high levels, including his most recent stint playing in the top Israeli league, one of the most highly regarded basketball leagues in the world.
Knight is excited about coming back to New Zealand, after thoroughly enjoying his previous two seasons in Palmerston North.
“We went through some tough times after coming back into the league in 2018, but after the success of the team at the 2020 Showdown and the potential for better things to come in 2021, I feel really positive and excited about helping take the Jets to a new level,” Knight said.
“I enjoy playing for Coach (McTamney) – he understands what I can bring to the game and gets the best out of me. It will be great playing for him again, especially with a more competitive roster than we’ve had in the past few years.
The new style of play he had the team playing in the Showdown looks great too. I can’t wait to be back in Palmy and part of it.”
The signing of Daishon Knight sets up a formidable back-court rotation for the 2021 Jets. Knight joins outstanding young talents in Jayden Bezzant and Nikau McCullough, along with local three-point and defensive specialist, Ashton McQueen, to create a potent and deep guard line-up.
More player announcements are expected over the next few weeks as McTamney continues to build his 2021 roster, and it’s safe to assume that some tall timber will be among his next signings as the balance of the team becomes clearer.
A second import is still to be signed, however the team is a long way towards securing the services of an American that McTamney is certain will become a dominant force in the league and the perfect sidekick to Knight.
The 2021 Sal’s NBL gets underway for the Property Brokers Manawatū Jets in Auckland on Thursday 29th April when they take on the Auckland Huskies.