Basketball: Perth Wildcats add Comm Games gold medal-winning Boomer Nick Kay to lineup

Former Illawarra Hawk Nick Kay has signed for the Wildcats. Picture: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images
Former Illawarra Hawk Nick Kay has signed for the Wildcats. Picture: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

THE Perth Wildcats have secured the signing of Australian power forward Nick Kay to a three-year contract.

At 206cm and 104kg, the 25-year-old is a big addition to the Wildcats 2018-19 NBL line-up.

The 2016 NBL Rookie of the Year is thrilled to be heading west.

“Any time you have the chance to go to a great club like Perth it’s going to be exciting. To keep that basketball dream going and the chance to win a championship one day, I’m really excited for that,” Kay said.

“A big part of my decision is the culture that Perth has.

“The way the guys play, the club has been very successful for a long period of time and having guys that play hard and play the right way, it’ll be a great environment to be involved in.

“To be able to learn from Trevor (Gleeson) and Matt Nielsen on how I can get better is very important because that’s what I want to do – get better every year.

“I’m a guy that loves to work, loves to compete. I’ll put the hours in, that’s a big part of my game, and to be in an environment like Perth around other guys like that; it’s going to be fun.”

Kay has played 90 NBL games and spent his last two seasons with the Illawarra Hawks – starting on 56 of a possible 62 occasions.

In 2017-18 he averaged 11.7 points per game at 51 per cent from the field, plus 5.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.4 steals.

Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson said Kay fits the Perth Wildcats’ style of play.

“He’s had an exceptional couple of years. He plays like a man. He’s strong, he’s physical, he can score, he has a high work rate. He plays that up-tempo game that we like to play,” he said.

“Being a good teammate is very important to us, to have the right culture at our club, and he ticks all those boxes.

“We’re excited to have Nick on board for the next three years and we look forward to his growth and development.”

Kay recently played in the gold medal-winning Australian team at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

He was also a part of the Boomers’ 2017 FIBA Asia Cup championship team and more recently pulled on the green and gold in FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.

Kay played college basketball at Metro State University in Denver – the same school Wildcat Jesse Wagstaff attended – helping the Roadrunners to four-consecutive NCAA Tournaments and was named to the All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference first-time twice.

Kay is the sixth Wildcat signed to the 2018-19 playing roster, joining Damian Martin, Angus Brandt, Jesse Wagstaff, Clint Steindl and Rhys Vague.

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