The Melbourne Tigers have finalised their 2009/10 NBL roster, with the official signings of Ben Knight and Tim Lang as well as development players Ben Lewis, James Orr, Robert Stone and Thomas Stephens.

Knight, a former Australian Boomer, captained former NBL team the Singapore Slingers for 2 years before playing in Perth for the Wildcats last season. Knight has since played in the Malaysian league, but the lure to return to Melbourne was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

“One of my biggest regrets in basketball was having to leave Melbourne 11 years ago when the Magic merged. In Melbourne the support and intensity for basketball was fantastic, especially whe there were multiple teams in the same city and playing elsewhere there was a significant drop in these areas. It is great to get the opportunity to come back to Melbourne to play.”

Knight had the following to say upon signing with the Club.

“I have always had respect for Al Westover and the Melbourne Tigers organisation. Al and the Tigers took the championship from me a couple years ago when I played for the Kings and over the years I have played with Sam Mackinnon, Luke Kendall, Mark Worthington and Chris Anstey and it is great to have everyone together in the one team. It’s a great group, especially being an All-Australian team. It is a great opportunity for myself and basketball in Melbourne.”

Tigers Head Coach Al Westover was very pleased with the addition of Knight to the Tigers playing list.

“Ben brings a wealth of experience with over 12 seasons in the league and during his time he has won a Championship with the Kings. He is a versatile big man who will fit in really well with our team structure and culture.”

Westover also was happy with the signing of Tim Lang stating, “With Anstey going down adding Ben and Tim gives us more depth and versatility. Tim is 6’10, 115kgs, plays hard and has a great work ethic.”

Lang trialed with the Tigers at the Top End Challenge at the start of September and with Anstey being injured on the trip saw plenty of game time. Lang is happy to make Melbourne home after returning from playing college basketball with the Stetson Hatters after recently playing with Kilsyth in the SEABL competition.

“It has always been a goal of mine to play in the NBL and to be able to play in my home town Melbourne is a fantastic opportunity. They are a great bunch of guys, easy to get along with and they have been great helping me adjust.”

The Tigers have also signed young players Ben Lewis, James Orr, Robert Stone and Thomas Stephens to development contracts.

Stone and Stephens played with the Tigers Championship winning Big V Men’s team this season while Orr was a development player with the Dragons last season.

Westover was very happy with the development squad saying, “These guys will be pushing the main core throughout the year at training. Robbie and Tom know our system well and Jimmy Orr is a player of the future. I haven’t seen too much of Benny Lewis this year, however he comes highly recommended and I look forward to his addition to the squad this week.”

The Tigers full squad in 2009/10 includes: Mark Worthington, Sam Mackinnon, Luke Kendall, Ben Knight, Nathan Crosswell, Tommy Greer, Daryl Corletto, Daniel Johnson, Matt O’Hea, Tim Lang and Chris Anstey (injury waiver). The development players include Ryan Bathie, Ben Lewis, James Orr, Bo Westover, Robert Stone, Thomas Stephens and Edin Zunic.

Tigers memberships and tickets are available for Tigers home games by contacting the Tigers office on 9326 6800 or clicking here. The Tigers first home game of the season is on Wednesday the 30th of September at ‘The Cage’.