Basketball: Kalamunda Eastern Suns add international players to roster

KALAMUNDA Eastern Suns’ link to basketball at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) will continue this season.

Coach Michael Clarke spent time on the coaching roster at VCU and now the Suns are looking forward to former Ram Rob Brandenberg joining them in May after his playing commitments in Spain.

Brandenberg scored more than 1200 points, and stole the ball more than 150 times, during his four years at VCU under coach Shaka Smart.

He played a significant role, as a freshman, in the program’s amazing run to the final four of the NCAA National Tournament in 2011.

“Rob epitomises our style of play, so he’s worth the wait,” Clarke said.

“I was fortunate to work with him during my time at VCU and I was deeply impressed by his athleticism, work ethic and character.

“I could not think of a better player to help me build our program’s identity.”

The club is hoping Brandenberg will fit in quickly to the team’s system and be a mentor.

“I can’t wait to reconnect with coach Clarke and help bring some havoc Down Under,” Brandenberg said.

Another addition to the club arrives next week.

Kiwi big man James Paringatai averaged 11 points and five rebounds per game last season in nine SBL appearances for Mandurah Magic.

Clarke said he would be an important inside presence.

“We need some more size and experience in the paint,” Clarke said.

“James will give us that in spades.”

The former NZNBL player has won championships, and served as captain with the Southland Sharks where he was regarded as an ultimate team man.