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Ekene Ibekwe at the centre of United rumours
It has been reported that ex-Breakers big man Ekene Ibekwe will sign with Melbourne United for the upcoming NBL season.
Ibekwe left the New Zealand Breakers after they allegedly could not meet his new pay demands after averaging 11.8 points and 6.1 rebounds while shooting at 59.6% from the field.
It would be another big recruit for United who have been very busy in the off-season.
Joining other big name signings Chris Goulding and Todd Blanchfield, Melbourne has had another big turnover of players looking for the formula to success.
Ibekwe would complement the current roster very well, with the team requiring a rebounding and shot blocking big man. Pairing up with Daniel Kickert, United's front court would be looking very dangerous to opposition teams.
One of Melbourne's biggest weaknesses last season was rebounding with the team losing the rebound count in most games. The franchise has obviously recognised this and has searched for someone to fill this hole. Kickert occupied the centre position last season while Mark Worthington (now at the Cairns Taipans) held down the power forward spot. It is expected that Kickert would move down to the power forward role and allow the 6'9" Ibekwe to dominate the centre.
Ibekwe is also known for his shot blocking abilities after he had more blocks than any other player in the NBL last season finishing with 62. Another skill United desperately needed as their roster is already stacked with scorers.
Arguably, he is most well-known for his buzzer beater in game two of last seasons NBL finals where he won the championship for the New Zealand Breakers.