Kings exercise Noi's option for NBL24 season
One of the heroes of the Sydney Kings' NBL23 championship run Kouat Noi will be back in the purple and gold next season after the club exercised their team option for the 2023-24 campaign.
This was an easy decision for the Kings, as the Newcastle junior enjoyed the most efficient year of his professional career under Chase Buford, to the tune of 7.44 points, 3.41 rebounds and 0.67 assists - all while shooting 48 per cent from the field and 80 per cent from the line.
“This past season was the best basketball season in my career and I know I’m just scratching the surface,” Noi said.
“I want to come back because I want to prove I can provide so much more.”
Upon reflecting on his first season with the Hoops Capital side after three with the Cairns Taipans, the Sudan-born forward admits the club helped him ‘fall deeper in love with basketball’.
“[From the moment I walked in] I just loved it,” the 25-year-old said.
“The practices and weight training were next level, which allowed me to get better and stronger each week.”
“Physically, I’m as strong as I’ve ever been and mentally, I now see the game differently through coach's eyes - Chase [Buford] is the best coach I’ve ever been coached by and the staff he has around him make it even better.
“They all help push me every day and the work showed on the court.”
Before he returns to the harbour city, Noi will play in Israel with Ironi Kiryat Ata, which will prepare him for an even bigger season on the court in NBL24.
“I’m going to have another big off-season and keep improving on my body,” Noi said.
“Once the NBL pre-season kicks off, I’ll be ahead of everyone.
“[That preparation will be key] as I want to win an NBL award in the future.
“I have my eyes on a number of awards and I truly believe they're in my reach - I’m gonna shock the world.”
Kings CEO Chris Pongrass said getting Noi back to the club, to join the core of Jaylin Galloway, Dejan Vasiljevic, Jordi Hunter, Angus Glover and Shaun Bruce, was important - especially with Xavier Cooks now in the NBA with the Washington Wizards.
"Kouat was exceptional for us this season, being a key part of the competition's top bench unit alongside Gus, JG, Jordi and Brucey," Pongrass said.
"And he showed in our massive grand final game two win in Auckland, that he is capable of stepping up and taking on a bigger role when called upon.
"We're delighted to have him back in Sydney for another season, as we look to run it back once more; we can't wait to see him continue to develop and contribute to our group’s success”.
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