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Sixers' Wiley import a new 'Chris Williams'


NEW Adelaide 36ers import Jacob “Jake” Wiley has been likened to late Sydney Kings import great Chris Williams in game-style and ability.

It is high praise indeed from one of the NBL’s leading talent judges and sources but who today asked to remain anonymous.

So, yes indeedy, we get to join the “modern” world of “journalism” and quote a genuine and reliable “source”. (Except, legitmately.)

Wiley, 23 and 203cm, was spotted by the 36ers at NBA Summer League earlier this month, playing alongside former Adelaide captain and 2017-18 club MVP Mitch Creek.

The Big Sky Conference Player of the Year as a senior in the 2016-17 season after averaging 20.2 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.8 blocks, and 2.3 assists per game for Eastern Washington University Eagles, Wiley is likely to replace Josh Childress as a 36ers’ import.

“He reminds me a lot of Chris Williams,” my source at the Summer League said.

“He’s 6-7, 6-8 and really goes after it. There’s a lot of Chris about him.”

Williams was a “one-and-done” NBL import who led the Kings to their breakthrough 2002-03 NBL Championship.

The ACC Rookie of the Year in 1999, Williams (below) was recruited out of University of Virginia as a 200cm, 22-year-old and took the NBL by storm.

Williams averaged 23.6 points, 12.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.3 blocks and is the only player in NBL history to win league Most Valuable Player, NBL All Star Five First Team selection and the Larry Sengstock Medal as Championship Series MVP in his solitary season.

Such was his impact, Williams, who tragically died of blood clots last year at 36, was selected as a starter in the Sydney Kings’ 25th anniversary team.

Favourably comparing Wiley to Williams is exciting for 36ers fans who will lament the loss of Childress, now strongly expected to be a surprise final piece of the Sydney Kings 2018-19 puzzle.

That potentially would make the Kings imports point guard Jerome Randle, 208cm power forward David Wear and versatile small forward Childress (above).

They would fit around the league’s hottest new drawcard, NBA championship-winning centre Andrew Bogut, dual-league MVP and Rio Olympian Kevin Lisch, FIBA Asia Cup gold medallists Daniel Kickert and multiple Olympian Brad Newley, NBL championship-winner Kyle Adnam, big man Dane Pineau, the SEABL’s 2018 Most Valuable Player, Tom Wilson and athletic Deng Deng.

That sure looks formidable, even without Childress as the third import. With him? Wow!

Childress, 35 and 203cm, spent the 2014-15 and 2015-16 NBL seasons with the Kings before averaging 12.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game in 27 games with Adelaide last season.

The 36ers, after last season taking eventual champion Melbourne United the distance in their five-game Grand Final Series, are an import playmaker away from completing their 11-man 2018-19 roster, conceding reigning club MVP Creek will be lost to the NBA.

Their roster so far is returning import Ramone Moore, Nathan Sobey, Daniel Johnson, Majok Deng, Anthony Drmic, Brendan Teys and Adam Doyle. The new faces will be Wiley (below), Harry Froling and Jack McVeigh, with the playmaking signing expected to be announced soon.

Jul 28

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