Names come to mind such as Gary Boodnikoff, who played for Augusta State University and came home to win NBL Rookie of the Year as a member of the Kings’ first championship team in 2003 and Mark Worthington and Luke Kendall, who were standouts at Metro State in Denver and returned to Australia to become integral members of some of the great Brian Goorjian teams in the mid-2000s.
And of course you can’t forget one Ben Madgen, who was a superstar at Augusta State and had a tremendous debut season for the purple and gold in 2010/11, joining Boodnikoff, Worthington,Matthew Nielsen, Derek Moore and Travis Lane as Sydney Kings who have won the league’s Rookie of the Year honour.
Now you can a new name to that illustrious list.
The Sydney Kings are proud to announce that forward Anatoly Bose, who had a stellar career at NCAA Division One school Nicholls State University in Louisiana, has signed with the team for the 2011/12 National Basketball League season.
Anatoly's career has literally taken him around the globe.
He grew up on a small farm in Kazakhstan before immigrating with his family to New York at the age of six.
After just six years in the United States, his family moved to Bondi Beach, where he played for Waverly College.
Anatoly is a 6’6 (198cm), 91kg offensive force who finished his brilliant four year campaign at Nicholls State as the school’s third all-time leading scorer, averaging 21.
1ppg his junior year, good for seventeenth in the NCAA, and 22.
1ppg as a senior in 2010/11,which ranked ninth in the nation.
His last two seasons were so impressive and so productive; he is pegged as an NBA draft prospect.
He was named the Louisiana Men’s Basketball Player of the Year in 2011, a season where he recorded at least 20 points in his 28 games for the Colonels, averaged nearly six rebounds per contest and led his team to victories over traditional college powerhouses LSU and Tulane – two teams Nicholls State had never previously defeated.
Basketball has always been a big part of Anatoly's life.
He lived in Brooklyn and immersed himself in the Russian community's love of the game.
"I grew up watching people play in the park, trying to get in a game," said Bose, who eventually joined a Russian youth basketball league.
"When I was 12, my family moved to Australia so I had to watch the up and coming college stars, Adam Morrison and J.
Redick, on the Internet.
It was during this time, while I was still at high school, that I decided that I wanted to return to the United States to play basketball," he said.
Bose sent nearly 600 letters to various universities before catching the eye of Nicholls State University Assistant Coach, Martin Unger.
Somewhat intrigued, Unger flew the 14,500km to Australia to watch the under-20 nationals in Ballarat, Victoria.
This was the turning point in Anatoly's career as coach Unger noticed his passion and athleticism on the court.
During the scouting trip, Unger feigned disinterest in Bose because David Patrick, Unger's predecessor at Nicholls State University was also interested in the boy from Bondi.
Unger, who is now an Assistant Coach at University of Missouri-Kansas City, said so we got a guy that was from Russia, came to the states, and was now in Australia.
"I hoped David Patrick didn't like [Bose].
I wanted David to understand he wasn't good enough," Unger said.
"I knew he had skill.
I knew he was athletic.
I did envision him doing a lot of other things; but I never dreamed he'd be doing what he's doing right now," Unger said.
Of Anatoly’s great success, Nicholls State coach JP Piper said “It’s not a fluke.
It’s not an accident.
The greatest legacy he’ll leave is that he put the work in”.
After Bose scored 28 points in his team’s upset win over LSU, Tigers’ coach Trent Johnson was effusive in his praise of the explosive Australian forward.
“He’s to me what college basketball is about”, he said.
“He’s a guy that’s not overly strong, he’s not big, he’s not physical, he’s not overly athletic, but he understands how to play this game”.
Over the past few months, Anatoly has been participating in a number of NBA pre-draft camps, including the famous Portsmouth Invitational Tournament featuring a host of quality college players, and he has also worked out for a number of NBA teams including the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks.
Anatoly’s strengths are in his varied offensive game.
He has worked on his three point shooting to become dangerous from long range, he gets to the rack extremely well, and he boasts a solid mid-range game.
However, while scoring is his main forte, he has worked hard on improving his defence and his rebounding numbers in college suggest he be an excellent contributor on the boards for the purple and gold.
Coach Robilliard said that he was very happy that Anatoly had signed with the Sydney Kings; adding that the period of negotiation had been protracted but worthwhile; adding that Tim Hudson’s relationship with Anatoly contributed to his move back to Sydney.
“It is fair to say that Tim coached and mentored Anatoly at Waverley, while he was still playing and coaching at the Razorbacks," Robilliard said.
“Anatoly is an outstanding prospect.
They call him a mystery man in the USA, because he has flown under the radar over there for so long.
The only mystery to me is why one of the NBA teams haven't snapped him up yet," Coach Robilliard said.
“He’s long and athletic and can swing between the two guard and small forward slots, he’s a tremendous scorer with range out to the perimeter, and I think he’ll provide plenty of highlights for Kings’ fans this season”.
According to Sydney Kings' Assistant Coach, Tim Hudson, Anatoly has been putting in the work since he first started playing basketball at Waverly College in Sydney.
"Waverley College was very influential to Anatoly's personal development and the focus of his tremendous passion.
He spent endless hours in the Waverley gym shedding enough sweat to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool," Hudson said.
"Anatoly is a young man driven by challenges set before him.
He was almost ‘red-shirted’ at NSU; but by midway through his Freshman season, he was leading his team in scoring and rebounding.
They were all challenges to overcome, which is something Anatoly loves to do.
Just try telling him he won’t be successful," Hudson said.
There’s no question that getting the signature of Anatoly Bose is an enormous coup for the Sydney Kings.
Look for a great rookie season from this high-powered offensive machine.
He’s going to be an outstanding addition to a squad that is now really starting to take shape and will represent the harbour City with great honour in 2011/12.
Anatoly will be heading to Perth in a weeks time with Julian Khazzouh, Ben Madgen, and Luke Cooper for an initialfive-day Australian Boomers camp, as part of a 16-player roster.
We wish all four the best of luck in making the 12-man team that will play the Chinese Men's National Team in a two-game series, known as the YouYi Games.
If they get through that exercise, they will be preparing for the best-of-three Olympic qualifying series against New Zealand later in September – with Game 3 to be played in Sydney.
The wining team will be awarded a berth in the 2012 London Olympics.
Best of luck guys from all Kings fans!