Hawks Snare All Star Braimoh

Hawks Snare All Star Braimoh

The IMS PAYROLL HAWKS have snared last season’s most outstanding forward in international import SULEIMAN BRAIMOH, as well as the scoring talents of ZACH ATKINSON.

IMS Payroll Hawks has now completed its roster and Head Coach LIAM FLYNN is thrilled with the local and international talent within the team as it looks to go one better and win the NZNBL title.

The two international players come with NZNBL experience and replace DUSTIN SCOTT who has decided not to return due to personal reasons and KAREEM JOHNSON, who has missed selection.

Braimoh is Nigerian, who moved to the United States in 2001. He played college basketball for Rice University before playing professionally in the NBA Development League as well as stints in Qatar, Japan, and more recently Mexico.

Braimoh was a stand out for the TARANAKI MOUNTAIN AIRS last season, averaging 24.9 points and 12.2 rebounds per game, winning the Most Outstanding Forward award and being named in the All-Star Five.

During last season he won four straight Player Of The Week awards. As well as a scoring machine, Braimoh can contribute on defence as well, averaging over 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks last season.

He has recently been playing in the Mexican League, where he again stood out, averaging 20.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.

Atkinson is a 2.06-metre centre who has played with both Harbour Heat and Waikato Pistons in 2013. With the Pistons he averaged 18.7 points and 14.6 rebounds (including five offensive boards a game).

Atkinson most recently played in Canada and the Czech Republic and has also had stints in Spain, Japan and Colombia after playing US college hoops at the University of California-Irvine.

Atkinson also set the NBL shot-blocking record averaging three a game as the sole rim protector on the Pistons squad.

Flynn says the side is now well balanced with Braimoh and Atkinson as the two big men, surrounded by the likes of returning players JARROD KENNYPAORA WINITANAMARCO ALEXANDERANA HAKU and DARRYL JONES. Also returning to the side this year are ALONZO BURTON after a season with the Manawatu Jets and MORGAN NATANAHIRA, who has spent the last two seasons with the Southland Sharks.

The IMS Payroll Hawks will open their 2015 BARTERCARD NBL campaign with a home game at Pettigrew Green Arena against NELSON GIANTS on Saturday April 4 at 7.00pm.

They play three homes against in a row before heading away to play the TARANAKI MOUNTAINEERS on April 26.