AN athletic American basketballer with a strong work ethic has committed to Warrnambool Seahawks for the 2024 Big V season.
Southern Californian Kester Ofoegbu, who spent part of last year playing in Amsterdam, will fly to Australia in coming weeks, eager to help the Shane Smith-coached side push for a playoffs berth.
Smith said the exciting import would be available for the Seahawks' season-opener on Sunday, March 17.
"Kester is about a six-foot-five, six-foot-six guy, really athletic and really highly motivated about basketball," he told The Standard.
"He just loves the game and is really keen to get into our community and contribute.
"By all accounts he's a great team man, really values his team.
"He's got a highlights reel to his game that brings some excitement which is what we always want in Warrnambool.
"He's athletic and can dunk which often brings in a crowd."
Ofoegbu, 23, played BNXT League club Apollo Amsterdam in 2023, averaging 14.4 points per game.
"He had a year in Europe last year playing over there so he's travelled a little bit," Smith said.
"He is really keen to come to Australia. Australia has a really good name now with basketball and the leagues we've got.
"We are in regular contact with him at the moment and he's working really hard so he's in the best shape when he comes out."
Smith, who has replaced the retired Alex Gynes as coach, said Ofoegbu's versatility would be an asset for the Seahawks.
"Because it's not a big league (size-wise) we play in, he can play anywhere from a two-man shooter to a four-man which is inside," he said.
Warrnambool has up to 20 players training with its men's program as it prepares for the season in a month's time.
"We are probably looking at keeping a big squad this year and will give a lot of players an opportunity to be part of the program and develop," Smith said.
"Basketball is on a big turn at the moment with lots of people trying to play and we want to try and keep them involved in our program.
"It's great to see Dom Occhipinti back in. He's really keen to play and he's had a good CBL season this year."
Gynes is a confirmed departure while 200-gamer James Mitchell is "considering his options" due to work.