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NBL Tues: Brisbane blues

IT’S been a big day for Brisbane Bullets, confirming Stephen Holt as the NBL club’s second import, alongside Torrey Craig, and returning to the club’s blue-and-gold history.

The Bullets will retain their maroon uniform for their Queensland derby clashes with Cairns Taipans because, you know, in a sudden blackout they glow and can be followed out of the gym.

Back to a royal blue outfit at home, the Bullets’ white travel strip has “Brisbane” emblazoned across the chest.  

It’s a bold step and follows on the positive fan response to last season’s retro uniform.

Holt, 25 and 193cm, in 2015 was the joint winner (with Cairns’ Markel Starks) of the Ray Borner Medal as Blitz MVP, before averaging 15.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game with Melbourne United.

United was bundled out of the playoffs in straight sets by the Breakers in a semi final sweep, Holt still winning NBL All Stars (Second Team) selection.

“Stephen Holt is going to join us this year,” Bullets coach Andrej Lemanis said at today’s press conference.

“Really pleased that Stephen’s agreed to come on board with us.

“I first had the opportunity to see Stephen live in 2015 when we were preparing with the Boomers and we played a game against Melbourne United, and Stephen had just signed with Melbourne United and gave us all sorts of issues.

“We had trouble guarding him, just with his pace, his ability to get to the rim, his ability to make plays, (he) certainly impressed me in that game.

“The thing that stood out for me was not only his ability to make plays but his ability to help his teammates be better and that’s something we’re about at the Bullets.

“Whenever we look to sign a new import, we do all the research but then we give them a phone call. I arrange to have a chat with them.

“We speak about a whole range of things. I’ve got to say the discussion I had with Stephen was as good as any I’ve had with an import.

“He asked good questions, he was well-prepared and showed an emotional intelligence as well that we think will fit in nicely with our group.”

With an NBL season under his belt before in 2016-17 playing in Spain and Czech Republic, Holt returns with insider knowledge. He’s also played with Daniel Kickert at MU and Mitch Young at St Mary’s College, suggesting he should be a smooth fit for the sophomore season of Brisbane’s return.

Jun 6

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