The CQUniversity Cairns Taipans will welcome back point guard Jarrod Kenny, who has re-signed for his fourth consecutive season in orange. The 35-year-old first joined the Taipans on a two-year deal in 2018 and signed another contract ahead of 2020-2021.
Kenny makes his return to the Far North after suiting up in the NZNBL for a remarkable 20th season, with his Hawks dealt a narrow loss from the Saints (77-75) in the Grand Final last night. He won the 2020 New Zealand Championship with the Nuggets.
“JK” also won two NBL Championships back-to-back (2016, 2017) alongside Taipans Head Coach Adam Forde at the Perth Wildcats.
“My relationship with JK goes well beyond basketball, we have obviously spent time together in Perth and recently in Hawke’s Bay, but it was important for me to get him re-signed for a number of other reasons,” said Coach Forde.
“Aside from the fact there was a smaller sample size from reduction in production on court last season, statistically he proved that he is above league average when spacing the floor as a three-point shooter.
“As a back-up point to Scott Machado, it’s important that position is filled by someone with experience, accepting of the role and isn’t an offensive liability.
“Even in the NZNBL this off-season, he was shooting 50 per cent from three.”
“You add that to the intangible traits that he brings as a spiritual leader and role model on the team, it seemed like a no-brainer to me that he was ahead of the pack in terms of available back-up point guards during this free agency.”
Kenny boasts a Bronze Medal from the 2018 Commonwealth Games with the Tall Blacks, two FIBA World Cup appearances and has suited up for the New Zealand national team on more than 70 occasions throughout his career.
He joins Scott Machado, Cameron Oliver, Nathan Jawai, Majok Deng, Mirko Djeric, Kouat Noi, Jordan Ngatai and Keanu Pinder on the Taipans’ 2021-22 line-up, with one import and one local roster spot remaining.