NBA veteran Warrick to replace Ibekwe

Melbourne United have today announced that Hakim Warrick will fill the second import position, replacing Ekene Ibekwe, who left the team under compassionate terms. Ibekwe parted ways with United as he wanted to be with and be able to support his pregnant wife.

With over 500 games of NBA experience, Warrick will turn his attention to the challenge of winning an NBL championship with Melbourne United. Known for his high-flying, entertaining dunks and his shot blocking ability, Warrick is a huge coup for not only United but the revamped NBL. Already boasting Josh Childress and Nate Jawai as players who have suited up for the NBA, the NBL's talent pool is further deepened with Warrick's signing.

Warrick last played in Turkey for Torku Konyaspor, where he signed earlier in 2015.

He has made his name as a journeyman in the NBA, having played for five teams including the Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Bulls and the Phoenix Suns (alongside Josh Childress). During his time in the league Warrick averaged 9.4 points and four rebounds, shooting at 49% from the field.

Josh Childress gave NBL fans some excitement when he tweeted about Melbourne's new import.

Fans started guessing who the player would be, when Childress followed up with another tweet.

Debate was furious, but it was quickly decided among NBL fans that Hakim Warrick fit the description best.

Warrick will slot into the United starting lineup alongside Daniel Kickert to form a powerful front court.

Warrick will join Melbourne's other big signings, Chris Goulding and Stephen Holt in the push for a championship this season. Warrick's inside game adds an extra dimension to United offense, alongside Holt's ability to get to the rim and the elite shooting of Chris Goulding and Todd Blanchfield.

United are yet to decide if Warrick will play in this week's preseason Blitz. Until then, enjoy Warrick's last showing in the 2006 NBA dunk contest.