The CQUniversity Cairns Taipans have signed New Zealand forward Jordan Ngatai for NBL21.
The four-time NZNBL Champion, 2015 NBL Champion and Tall Blacks representative on a two-year deal (second year Club option), his first NBL contract outside of New Zealand.
The versatile forward recently won the NZNBL title where he averaged second in each major statical category: points (18.2) rebounds (5.7) and assists (4.5) for the Otago Nuggets, playing alongside Taipans guard Jarrod Kenny.
Like Kenny, Ngatai has a storied career with extensive experience in the NBL, NZNBL and the national program, boasting an NBL Championship, four NZNBL Championship rings and a Bronze Medal from the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The 27-year old has played exclusively for the New Zealand Breakers in his six years in the league and commits to his first NBL team across the ditch to join reigning Coach of the Year, Mike Kelly.
“Jordan is a talented, tough, team-first player. He’s got an ability to shoot the three, attack the rim with ferocity and defend multiple positions,” said Kelly.
“While I like what Jordan is able to do now, I want to continue to see him grow in our system and with the good group of guys we have in our team.
“Just like every other player, he’s going to have to earn his minutes. But we know what he is capable of, and we know he’s going to have an impact and help us.”
Originally from Porirua (outside of Wellington) in New Zealand, Ngatai played for Sierra College and BYU-Hawaii in his collegiate campaign. He returned home and joined his hometown team, the Saints, before being recruited by the Breakers as a development player in 2014 and elevated to the roster in 2016.
Ngatai joins Jarrod Kenny, Kouat Noi, Majok Deng, Mirko Djeric, Nate Jawai, Fabijan Krslovic and Next Stars signing Mojave King on the Cairns roster for the coming season.