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The Island Storm has signed Andre Malone and Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Otieno, who are both entering professional basketball after successful collegiate careers.
Malone, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound guard from Riverdale, GA, and Otieno, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound guard from Edmonton, originally Kenya, will both join the team for training camp in December.
They will be the only rookies at this year’s training camp.
Malone, 24, spent two years at Auburn in SEC before completing his NCAA career at the University of Rhode Island. His best colligate season was his second year at Auburn where he averaged 11.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, while shooting 44.4 per cent from three.
“I had the chance to see and actually coach Andre at an overseas combine in Miami this past July,” said Salerno. “He has a great feel for the game, with a pro body and athleticism to go with it. He can shoot he three with consistency, but also has the capability to take players off the bounce and finish at the rim.”
Malone is grateful for the chance to play pro and says this is an opportunity he is ready for.
“I’ve been working on my body. I’m getting stronger and quicker.”
For Malone, no competition is too fierce after playing against John Wall (Washington Wizards) and DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings) when Auburn faced the Kentucky Wildcats.
Looking ahead, Malone is anxious to leave the United States for the first time in his life and play professionally.
“I want to help this team win. I will play hard every game. I’m up for the challenge.”
Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Otieno
Otieno, 24, spent five years at the University of Alberta playing with the Golden Bears. In his final year with the school he averaged 14.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, while shooting 42.7 per cent from the land beyond.
In 2013 Otieno had the highest efficiency rating out of any player in the CIS.
“To have the highest efficiency rating out every player in a season says a lot about that player,” said Salerno. “I think Kenny’s ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter and his reputation for versatile team-first type play is exactly what we look for in players.”
He became a key player for Alberta in his final years; and he admits transitioning into a lesser role will be a learning curve.
“My coach and teammates put a lot of trust in me as a lead guy. It will be a transition but I’m ready to learn from the older players,” he said.
Looking at a career in the pros, Otieno called his friends playing overseas to get an idea of the job expectations. He has also done his homework.
“I did a lot of research on the Storm. I know they have done well in years past and that’s one reason why I signed. My main goal is to help them win a championship.”