Aussies in NBA: Mangok Mathiang pushing for return to Hornets

Mangok Mathiang has made a strong early push for a return to the Charlotte Hornets active roster after collecting an impressive double double for the Greensboro Swarm in the opening round of the NBA G League.

Hosting the Canton Charge, Greensboro literally swarmed all over their opponents right from the outset, cruising to a lop-sided 123-88 victory. Going head-to-head against the Charge's Kendrick Perkins, it was Mathiang who shone the brightest.

The Melburnian was almost unstoppable in the post, scoring an efficient 9-of-12 from the field for 18 points with 11 rebounds and 1 blocked shot in just 23 minutes as a starter. As the game was a blowout, the bench were given a full run. In fact 13 players for the Swarm hit the court, with all but one of those players hitting the score sheet.

It was an excellent performance by Mathiang, who was a model of efficiency offensively-- something that is sure to have caught the attention of the Hornets front office.

The Charlotte Hornets signed Louisville graduate Mangok Mathiang on a two-way contract back on 2 August, with the 6'10 forward earning his place on the NBA opening round roster. While he suited up in the Hornets' first four games of the season, he stepped onto the floor for his NBA debut against the Denver Nuggets. He would play 3:28 for 2 rebounds and unfortunately 2 missed shots.

Mathiang will be back in action for the Swarm in their next game against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Wednesday, Australian time. If he can back up his first game performance with more of the same early on, it should only be a matter of time before he gets recalled to the NBA roster.