Crosswell to put bite in Crocs
THE Townsville Crocodiles want a National Basketball League championship.
To that end, the club has acquired the services of Ballina-born guard Nathan Crosswell.
Crosswell, 30, goes to the club as a veteran of 11 seasons and 279 games in the NBL and boasts a championship ring he won as part of the all-conquering Melbourne Tigers team of 2009.
He will play as the Crocs ‘energy man’, coming off the bench as a back-up point guard and shooter.
During the off-season the Crocs offloaded two-time club MVP and nationwide crowd favourite Corey Williams, much to the displeasure of their loyal fans.
While Williams was a walking highlight reel for the club, as well as the public face of ‘Croc Nation’, he failed to deliver a championship – something that Crocs CEO Ian Smythe thinks Crosswell can help achieve.
“Nathan comes to us as one of the most experienced players in the league,” Smythe said.
“He has shown at a number of clubs that he can hold his own and he has the championship to prove it.”
Crosswell was the starting point guard and led the Tigers in assists in his championship-winning season.
This time, at his fourth club, the 190cm dynamo will play a different role.
Crocodiles coach Trevor Gleeson is currently in the United States courting a replacement for former floor general Williams.
When they pick up their American point guard Crosswell will play a big role in his transition to the Australian style of basketball.
“He will absolutely provide that,” Smythe said.
“His knowledge and experience in the league makes Nathan one of the best value purchases out there.”
And while the Crocs chose to part ways with Williams, who was also the off-court leader of the club, Smythe believes his new acquisition can also help fill that void.
“Nathan is a very unassuming guy,” he said.
“His contribution to club and community is immense – he freely gives his time and would be an asset to any organisation.”
The Crocodiles have also added 216cm Luke Schenscher to their roster – the big man having NBA experience with the Chicago Bulls and Portland Trailblazers.
Schenscher will team with Australian Boomer Russell Hinder to form the tallest, longest frontline in the league.
Townsville has also retained shooters Michael Cedar and Peter Crawford and will look to announce the signings of ball-handling and rebounding imports in the coming weeks.
The aim for the club is simple. After eight trips to the finals in 10 years, the Townsville Crocodiles, more than ever, want their maiden championship.