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Kings ink Sydney product Amir to three-year deal

4 May 2023

5 mins read

The Sydney Kings have added to their young nucleus by signing exciting wing Klairus Amir ahead of the NBL24 season.

The 18-year-old joins the reigning two-time NBL champions on a three-year deal, with the first two as a development player before becoming a fully-contracted player in NBL26.

In doing so, he becomes the youngest local talent to ever sign a multi-year deal with the Kings - eclipsing the previous mark held by 19-year-old Matt Nielsen.

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"From a young age, I've watched and supported the Sydney Kings, so to be able to now play for them is something really special," said the 201cm wing, who admits it'll be a blessing to play in front of his family and friends in Sydney.

"My plan after the United States was always to come home at some point and after having the chance to work out with them and seeing the way they treated me, I knew the Kings was the perfect spot for me to continue to develop my game.

"The fit just felt right - from the family environment to the knowledgeable coaches, I just know Sydney is the perfect place for me to help achieve my long-term goals, which is to be the best version of myself and hopefully one day play in the NBA.

"I've seen the impact they've had on someone like Xavier Cooks and now he's in the NBA with the Washington Wizards, so I know the pathway is there."

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Amir started his basketball journey in the harbour city with the Hills Hornets at an under 12s level before transitioning across to the Sydney Comets in 2018 for one season.

Then at the age of 15 in early 2019, Amir decided to head to the United States and move to Atlanta, Georgia - where he spent time at both Osborn High School and Wheeler High School, which led to him being ranked in ESPN's top 20 prospects for his age in the country.

After three seasons (eighth grade through 10th grade) in Georgia, Amir, who has been trained by his uncle Eban Hyams (who spent time with the Singapore Slingers) for the majority of his young career, moved to Arizona and started to attend Dream City Christian School in Glendale.

"My strength and what I'm known for is my shooting and being able to hit shots, so I'll be aiming to bring that to the court for the Kings," said Amir, who was one of 40 players invited to participate in the Basketball Without Borders Global camp during this year's NBA All-Star Weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah.

"Areas I really want to work on are my consistency each time I step on the court, as well as my strength and handles.

"To be honest, I can't wait to get back to Sydney and start working with the coaches and my teammates on all parts of my game.

"They've got great structures there and I'm prepared to do whatever is needed of me to help the club win a third straight title."

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Kings CEO Chris Pongrass is ecstatic to bring another high-pedigree NSW product, alongside the likes of Angus GloverKouat Noi, Jordi Hunter and Makuach Maluach, into the Hoops Capital program to work his the club's elite coaches.

"By playing in the US, Klairus has largely flown under the radar – however he was one of the premier high school prospects in the nation," said Pongrass, whose squad also includes Dejan Vasiljevic, Shaun Bruce, Jaylin Galloway and Jackson Makoi in NBL24.

"We're really excited to have him join the club for the next three seasons.

"Klairus is a raw talent with enormous upside - he is still growing and filling into his body, but for his age is an elite physical specimen.

"We believe he can be a real asset to our program and are heavily invested in his long-term development.

"We can't wait for him to arrive back in Sydney, after a couple of years abroad, and for him to start working with Chase [Buford] and our great coaching staff."

Amir is currently completing year 11 in the US and is expected to arrive in Sydney in early June, ahead of the start of NBL24.

Stay up to date with all the club's off-season news here.

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