NBL Player Profile: Mickell Gladness
Steve Chalmers provides a background check on the new Townsville Crocs import, displaying his NBA career along with packing a punch in college.
Who is Mickell Gladness?
Gladness, 28, is a 6'11'' centre who is well known for his defence; more specifically, his shot blocking ability. He comes packing a 7'8'' wingspan; this being longer than arguably three of the best shot blockers currently in the NBA: Dwight Howard (7'4''), DeAndre Jordan (7'6'') and Taj Gibson (7'4'').
“We think Mickell is a perfect fit for us. Speaking to a lot of the guys who know him around the NBA, he is spoken of very highly. He is from a small town, a small market and that is the type of environment he is joining. We wanted someone who could fit into our community environment and team culture and Mickell ticks all those boxes,” - Townsville Head Coach Shawn Dennis
The lengthy athlete is most known for his record breaking 16 blocks in a single NCAA game when playing for Alabama A&M against Texas Southern in 2007.
While starting out his college career at Lawson State Community College, he quickly transferred to Alabama A&M after just one year.
This was where he made a name for himself on the college scene, when in his Junior year, Gladness blocked shots left, right and centre. He averaged a staggering 6.3 blocks per GAME during that year, and continued blocking shots at a rate of 4.5 per game in his final year.
In the three seasons of Division I college (Alabama A&M), Gladness finished in the Top 25 of all time in NCAA blocked shots.
After going undrafted in the 2008 NBA Draft, Gladness headed overseas, to the Netherlands where he found his first professional contract playing for Matrixx Magixx. Despite a two year contract, he never played in the second year as he realised he needed to be closer to home to fulfil his dream of one day playing in the NBA.
He signed for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the D-League and in the following season was signed by the Miami Heat after a successful Summer League stint. From here he bounced around both the NBA and D-League after various times being waived and re-acquired.
Gladness spent time with the Miami Heat and the Golden State Warriors in the NBA, playing in 26 games across the 2011/12 season with an average of 9 minutes per game.
Most recently, Gladness spent his time once again in the D-League, however this time playing for the Reno Bighorns. He averaged 8.3ppg, 6.3rpg and 2bpg as his team made the post-season.
— NBL (@NBL) June 12, 2014
Gladness shouldn't have too much trouble fitting it. He's not a massive offence type of guy, therefore he doesn't always need the ball in his hands to do damage like most other imports.
“Our defence needed to be more intimidating and Mickell will provide that. He will bring a whole new meaning to our defence and allow us to better match up on the other teams in the NBL. We are bringing in someone that the NBL hasn’t seen the likes of as a defensive Big Man since Simon Dwight,” - Head Coach Shawn Dennis
He'll hustle on the defensive end for the Crocs and that, in turn, will give his team easy points at the other end. His post game will need a little bit of refining when it comes to half court sets, although it doesn't mean they'll look to feed him often.
If you're an NBA type of guy, watch how Miami's Chris Andersen scored a bunch of his points last season (drive and dish plays, putbacks); this is how Gladness should be getting on the scoresheet.
Times may have been tough for the Crocs last season, however the injection of Gladness could quite possibly change that very quickly.