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Monday, October 17, 2016

Auryn Macmillan has signed with Kilsyth for the 2017 SEABL season, re-joining the Cobras for the first time since 2015.

The signing of Macmillan is the Cobras first for the upcoming SEABL season, with the fan favourite thrilled to return home to his junior club.

“I'm so excited to be coming back to Kilsyth,” Macmillan said.

“There's a feeling I get when walking down onto Court 1 (Hugh McMenamin Court) for a game at Kilsyth that I don't get anywhere else.”

Macmillan returns following a year up north in the Queensland Basketball League (QBL), where he was a member of the Rockhampton Rockets. He was a double-double machine for the Rockets, boasting averages of 15.4ppg, 10.4rpg and 1.8bpg, while shooting a league-best 62.6% from the field. Although Macmillan thrived in his time with Rockhampton, the 6’8” forward felt it was time to return to the place he’s always called home.

“A year off from Kilsyth really helped me realise how special the place is,” Macmillan said.

The club and the fans feel like family, so I always feel like I've got a little something extra to give for them.”

“Rockhampton is a great club and the QBL was a lot of fun, but I really missed home.”

A six-year SEABL veteran, Macmillan has established himself as one of the league’s most valuable big-men, sporting career averages of 12.5ppg and 7.7rpg. His impact is felt far beyond his numbers, though, possessing a rare combination of perimeter shooting, low post scoring and defensive versatility.

In his past two seasons with the Cobras, Macmillan connected on 40% of his three-point attempts while boosting his scoring (14.4ppg) and rebounding (9.2rpg) numbers. His excellent two-way play helped Kilsyth to back-to-back playoff appearances, including an improbable run to the Conference Championship Game in 2014 when the young, rebuilding Cobras were expected to finish near the bottom of the league standings. Macmillan’s extended offensive game was developed heavily under former Coach Rod Popp - whom he credits with much of his on-court success - and will be utilised by new Head Coach Justin Schueller in the season ahead.

“It will be weird for me being at Kilsyth without Coach Popp; he's been there for me literally every step of my basketball journey,” Macmillan added.

“He was an amazing coach for me, has been an even better friend and mentor, and leaves behind a great legacy.”

“We’ve come within inches of playing for a SEABL championship on several occasions, so I'm glad to see the club carrying on this tradition and really making a push toward this goal for the upcoming season.”

Though he won’t join the team until February, Macmillan’s early conversations with Schueller and the team’s plans for next year have him excited for what lies ahead. With some familiar faces set to return paired with some exciting newcomers, ‘The Organic Mechanic’ is thinking big for the Cobras in 2017.

“It seems like we're putting together one hell of a roster, and by the sound of it Justin's system will be an exciting brand of basketball,” Macmillan said.

“Obviously it's early days and there's a long road ahead with a lot of work to be done, but I am confident we'll be red hot contenders next season.”

Currently sitting at 137 career SEABL games with the Cobras, Macmillan’s decision to return home was fuelled in part by the possibility of being inducted into Kilsyth’s 200 Game Club. With fellow Cobras teammates Gerard Leonard and Tim Lang earning their rightful place on the Hugh McMenamin Court wall, Macmillan would like to see his number 42 jersey beside them before his playing days are over.

“The other thing that really excites me about coming back is moving a step closer to getting my jersey up on the wall,” Macmillan said.

“I wish I could have been there to see Timmy Lang's jersey get hung as we've been through a whole lot together, and I'd love to our jerseys shoulder to shoulder up on the wall.”

“Seeing it up there gives me that little bit of added motivation.”

More signings for the Cobra Men are set to be announced soon.