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NBL newcomer Daniel Dillon signs on with the Tigers

by Paul Henderson

Our iiNet NBL Ambassadors are back in action reporting on the latest basketball news as the league begins to wind up for the new season. Keep an eye out for regular posts from these guys as they keep you up to date with the iiNet NBL Championship 2011-2012.

The Melbourne Tigers have made a splash in the free agency market during the off-season. In the process they’ve replaced some of their ‘size’ from last year with some freakish athleticism. Nothing epitomises this more than the addition of 6’3″ slashing guard Daniel Dillon. I sat down with the ex-Arizona Wildcat, South Dragon and Cairns Taipan to talk about his recent inclusion in the Australian Boomers squad.

Not knowing what to expect when landing in Cairns, Daniel put in the hard work and earned himself a starting spot. With Cairns making such a great run at the title last season and falling just one game short of a Championship, we talked about the Taipans’ season and what it meant to be a part of it.

“If you make the playoffs, it’s anyone’s story. Anyone can win games if they stick together and do the little things that got them there in the first place, and that’s what we did,” he said. “If we were one game better we could have won the whole thing, but it was a great season and it was a lot of fun for me”.

Looking to the future, Dillon will join Liam Rush and old Cairns running mates, Ayinde Ubaka and Ron Dorsey at Tigers HQ. When asked about “taking his talents” to Melbourne, Daniel seems genuinely happy with his move and is keen for his Tigers experience to begin.

“I’m gonna bring my same game, the same up-tempo style of game. We’ve got a lot of up-tempo style of athletes on this team with Bennie Lewis, Lucas Walker, Liam Rush, Ron Dorsey. It’s a style I love to play”.

With Melbourne’s team goal certainly centered on making the playoffs/finals, I asked Daniel what his personal goals were for the season. Looking to improve in as many areas of his game as possible, Daniel didn’t specify any definitive goals as such. This surprised me until he reeled off all the statistical areas of his game that he wanted to improve;

“Shooting percentages, turnovers, free throws, three point percentage.”

This type of response illustrated to me a player who doesn’t have a personal agenda, doesn’t have an ego bigger than the team and shows a maturity in wanting to get the best out of himself and his team.

Not surprisingly, these types of attributes along with Daniel’s unquestioned talent are what have earned him a place in the Australian Boomers squad for their upcoming camp in Perth beginning Sunday.

Read more on the latest in the NBL by heading to www.hoopdiary.com.au

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