Featured News / June 29th, 2017

Kings Invitational squad announced for China tour

Sydney Kings Invitational squad named to contest the Atlas Challenge in China


An offer to contest the eight-team Atlas Challenge tournament held in Suzhou, China next month has seen the Kings organisation name a “Sydney Kings Invitational” squad to contest the prestigious event.

In its third year, the Atlas Challenge, hosted by The Atlas Group, features high-calibre club and national teams from across the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the United States, who will each play five games over a six day period between July 17 and July 23.

The Sydney Kings Invitational team will allow  players who could potentially earn a spot on the team’s 2017/2018 National Basketball League roster to compete in an international environment under the eye of Kings Managing Director Jeff Van Groningen and Head Coach Andrew Gaze. The full coaching, strength & conditioning and road support staff will also be part of the traveling group.

Van Groningen believes the importance of the trip is two-fold; to gain an understanding of the capacity of aspiring Kings players in an intensely competitive environment, and continuity of the Kings long-term agenda of building relationships between the organisation and stakeholders of the game in China.

“We are humbled to have been invited to this exciting event and we thank the Atlas Group and the Chinese basketball authorities for the opportunity. The Kings organisation will benefit from this tournament from a player assessment perspective but, more importantly, from being part of the international basketball fraternity represented at the event”, Van Groningen remarked.

Kings rookie recruit Dane Pineau will make the trip and will be the only contracted player heading north.

Pineau close up happy d2 compressed

Dane Pineau enjoying himself at the recent Sydney Kings rookie camp

He will be joined by recent Sydney Kings Rookie Camp attendees, including guard Peter Hooley, Indian big man Amritpal Singh and athletic forward Mathiang Muo, plus a number of promising youngsters, including seven foot centre Liam Thomas, who led the entire NCAA in blocked shots last season at Nicholls State University.

Former Sydney King and 2012 National Basketball League Rookie of the Year, small forward Anatoly Bose, will also don the famous purple and gold in China.

Head Coach Andrew Gaze emphasised the strength of the Atlas Challenge and the unique chance an aspirational squad has as a result.

“With a number of national teams competing the strength of the tournament is certainly not lost on us. It’s a  great challenge, but for us there’s a bigger picture. Quality games which really help us determine the readiness of players for the NBL are really important at this time of year. Added to that is the privilege of representing the Kings organisation and our league in China, which we highly value”, Gaze concluded.

The Atlas Challenge begins on July 18th, concluding July 23rd. Sydney Kings Invitational squad members will fly from Sydney, Melbourne, Los Angeles and Delhi before coming together in Suzhou by July 16th.

Sydney Kings Invitational Full squad

Player                           Position & Height                            Previous team

Anatoly Bose Guard                     6’6”   (198cm) BC Astana (Russia)
Sam Daly Guard                    6’4”   (193cm) Chaminade Silverswords (NCAA)
Peter Hooley Guard                      6’4” (193cm) Albany Great Danes (NCAA)
Obi Kyei Forward                  6’8” (203cm) Eckerd College (NCAA)
Mathiang  Muo Guard/Small Fwd  6’5” (195cm) Perth Wildcats (2014)
Dane Pineau Forward                   6’9” (206cm) St Mary’s (NCAA)
Amritpal Singh Centre                    6’10” (208cm)

Indian national team

Pune Peshwas (club team)

Liam Thomas Centre                    7’ (213cm) Nicholls State University (NCAA)
Adam Thoseby Guard 6’5” (195cm) Georgia Southwestern State (NCAA


Teams competing in the Atlas Challenge

  • China National B Team
  • Iran National Team
  • Ukraine National Team
  • Belarus National Team
  • Qatar National Team,
  • Lithuanian all-star Team
  • S.A all-star team
  • Sydney Kings Invitational team