Holt and Ibekwe in Melbourne to win
|Tom Harrison||Aug 13, 2015|
"At the end of the day it's all about winning for me," said Stephen Holt after signing with Melbourne United.
United announced the signing of their two imports for the upcoming season with Stephen Holt and Ekene Ibekwe joining the team.
Being the bookends of a talented United roster, both Holt and Ibekwe say they are in Melbourne to play for a championship.
"I see a bunch of guys, who have come together and want to win," tells Ibekwe.
Ibekwe joins the team after playing for the championship winning New Zealand Breakers last season.
"I thought Melbourne was the best opportunity."
Known for his shot blocking and rebounding ability, Ibekwe will join Daniel Kickert to form a formidable front court.
Ibekwe's addition allows Kickert to play more of an outside role, where he shot at the highest percentage in the NBL last season.
Ibekwe says he will play a similar role to the one he did for New Zealand last season, but wants to improve team comradery within the United squad.
"I'll definitely do some work close to the basket."
Holt joins the team after playing in the NBA Summer League for the Atlanta Hawks. He also played for St Mary's College during his time in the college system.
St Mary's has a strong Australian flavour and has produced players like Matthew Dellevadova, whom Holt played alongside.
"It made it even more comfortable coming out here...I knew what to expect," he said.
Holt expects his athleticism on the defensive end to stand out once he steps on the hardwood in the NBL.
"Just making trouble for all these guards in the league," is how Holt wants to impact the game.
"Being able to get into the lane, penetrate and dish, we have shooters everywhere. So I feel like my assists should go up every game,"
"We will definitely play up tempo and get up a lot of threes," told Holt.
Holt describes himself as a team player, willing to do anything the coach asks of him to win.
"Trying to be a team player, doing what the coaches ask and hopefully we can get a championship."
Holt has aspirations of making it in the NBA and sees his spot in Melbourne as a stepping stone to reaching that goal.
"The past imports that have been coming over, have had a bunch of success and I was attracted to that," he said.
Holt and Ibekwe join the team in time for the pre-season games against LSU and will suit up alongside Chris Goulding, Todd Blanchfield, Daniel Kickert, Nate Tomlinson, Dave Barlow, Majok Majok and Chris Patton.
As the quality of teams across the league increases, Holt and Ibekwe will slot in nicely to form a good looking roster.