By Thomas Becker
CHARLOTTETOWN - If you like a player who hustles and does the dirty work, then the recent signing of Dut Dut will wet your appetite.
Island basketball fans should know the big six-foot-six forward well, as he spent the last two seasons playing centre for the UPEI Panthers.
“It’s a dream come true that I’ve been telling all my friends about at a young age,” said the Ottawa, ON native. “Not everyone gets a crack at this opportunity, so it’s definitely something to cherish and work extra hard for.”
The powerful forward was a beast on the boards last season and led U Sports with 11.8 rebounds a night (4.3 of them coming off the offensive glass). He also scored 15.1 points per game on 43.3 per cent shooting for the nightly double-double.
His physicality is the perfect complement to a team filled with finesse players and will be an important piece in head coach Tim Kendrick’s system.
“We’re very pleased to have Dut join us,” Kendrick said. “He’s a very hard working player and brings a determined and team-oriented attitude to every practice and game. He’s a big, physical presence who uses his body to his advantage, especially defensively and on the glass.”
Dut joins a strong contingent of UPEI alumni who already made their way to the NBL of Canada club. He’ll reunite with Brad States, Tyler Scott and Kendrick to form a familiar quartet that led the Panthers to the AUS finals just two seasons ago.
“I think these guys are great to have on my side, especially since we still have a championship to get after the 2015-16 season with UPEI,” Dut said. “It would be great to make that happen with the Island Storm.”
Dut said he was honoured when he got the call from the Storm. Now that the team has placed faith in him, he’s ready to return the favour and do his part to help them in their quest for a championship.
“It means a lot,” he said. “I’m more than happy to be apart of this great organization and help them win a championship, especially in this great city.”
The Storm will open training camp at Holland Colleges’ Centre For Community Engagement on Tuesday. The season opens Nov. 18 at Eastlink Centre.