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Monday, October 24, 2016

The Kilsyth Cobras have added some perimeter firepower to their developing roster, signing import Nelson Kirksey for the 2017 SEABL season.

Kirksey gives the Cobras an athletic perimeter threat, with the 6’3” guard possessing an explosive first step and the ability to finish above the rim. A graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), Kirksey spent the 2016 season in the South Australian Premier League as a member of the Woodville Warriors. Kirksey was the recipient of the SA Premier League’s Woollacott Medal - awarded to the league’s best and fairest player - this past season, leading the Warriors in scoring (23.3ppg), rebounding (9.4rpg) and assists (3.4apg).

“I'm honoured to be in this position and thankful to Kilsyth for adding me to their roster,” Kirksey said.

“It’s always good to continue to move up in (level of) leagues.”

Prior to his time in Australia, Kirksey had an impressive two-year stint at UMKC, a NCAA Division I school competing in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). He was a standout during his senior year, finishing second on the team in scoring (13.2ppg), assists (2.2apg) and steals (1.3spg) while earning a place on the All-WAC Fourth Team. Kirksey’s skill set and basketball resumé made it an easy decision for Cobras Head Coach Justin Schueller to sign the guard, who joins Auryn Macmillan as the Cobras first signings for the season ahead.

“Nelson fits the needs of our group we are putting together perfectly,” Schueller said.

“He will compliment our other pieces while also being a standout with his own play.”

“Coming from a league I respect and know well (SA Premier League), winning the highest honour in that league, and the positive feedback from his coaches and teammates made us interested in him.”

But before pulling the trigger on Kirksey, Schueller wanted to make sure he was the right fit in person. The Cobras new Head Coach invited his newest recruit to an offseason workout with several Cobras players, with Kirksey showing that he is just as impressive in the flesh as he is on tape.

“Within five minutes of his work out with us, we knew we had found our guy,” Schueller said.

“He is a natural scorer and his athleticism will make him an exciting player to watch at both ends of the floor.”

While there is much hype surrounding Kirksey’s exciting above-the-rim play, the Cobras new high-flyer is focused purely on winning in the season ahead. With Kilsyth narrowly missing out on a playoff berth this year, Kirksey has his sights set not only on helping the Cobras return to the postseason, but as a legitimate championship contender, too.

“My first goal is to help us win our conference; second goal is to win the whole thing,” Kirksey added.

“I'm pretty stuck on that right now and that won't change. I'm all about winning and getting it done and I believe we as Kilsyth will do just that.”

Nelson will join the Cobras in mid January when they commence their new year preseason campaign.