Another NBA coup for Wildcats
Another NBA coup for Wildcats

The Perth Wildcats have backed up the breakthrough signing of the Miami Heat’s James Ennis a year ago by signing pick 37 of the 2014 NBA Draft, DeAndre Daniels.

Toronto, Daniels' NBA team, are eager to send the small forward overseas to gain much-needed playing time.

Daniels was a key part of the University of Connecticut's 2013-14 NCAA championship team, averaging 16 points and seven rebounds a game.

In five NBA Summer League games for Toronto, Daniels averaged 10 points and six rebounds.

By sending Daniels overseas, Toronto will retain rights to the player when he returns to the NBA next season.

The 22-year-old American who stands at 204cm, has a wingspan of 218cm and weighs 88kg, started at small forward for the UConn Huskies in their Championship season.

“I’m really looking forward to getting out to Australia – it’s a great opportunity for me to grow as a person, improve my game and experience a different lifestyle,” said Daniels.

“It was a fantastic feeling to hear my name called on NBA Draft day – it’s been my dream ever since I was a little kid. Now I need to keep working hard to earn an NBA contract and I’m more than excited to do that in Perth.

“Winning the NCAA Championship was one of the best moments of my life and I’ve now got the taste for success, so I can’t wait to meet my new teammates and start working with them towards back-to-back Perth Wildcats titles.”

The Wildcats proved their worth as a development tool for NBA prospects last season, providing a platform for rookie forward Ennis to improve himself on and off the court.

Ennis finished third in NBL MVP voting after his one season in Perth before being called up by the Heat.

The success of the Ennis experiment created plenty of publicity for the NBL in the US and generated respect for the Wildcats' program.

The West Australian

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