Geraldton Buccaneers bolster roster with import Josh Keyes and fan fave Liam Hunt
The Geraldton Buccaneers continue to bolster their roster with the signing of import Joshua Keyes from America and re-signing of fan favourite Liam Hunt.
Keyes joins the Buccaneers as their second off-season import after the signing of Josh Braun just a week prior.
Keyes comes with a winning history and experience, playing college basketball for the division three school Muskingum and being named grand final MVP in the recent Vietnam ProAm Basketball Championship.
Buccs head coach Dayle Joseph said they were excited for the winning mentality that Keyes will bring to Geraldton, who are coming off the championship themselves.
“We’ve heard nothing but good things around the place; he’s a good team player, he’s all about wanting to win,” he said.
“His response when we tried to recruit him was he will do whatever he needs to do for the team to win.”
With the evolving line-up the Buccaneers will have with off-season changes, Joseph said Keyes could fit multiple roles in the team.
“With the line-up that we’re probably going to put out there with the guards ... I think it will put us in a really good opportunity to mix things up defensively and be aggressive on our defence,” he said.
“Whether that’s switching or helping each other out in defence, I think that’ll bring a variable to our team.
“He can certainly score if he needs to and will also have players around him that can score that will need the ball as well.”
In a video of Keyes posted to the Buccs social media to announce his signing, the import said he was excited to join the squad for the upcoming season.
“What’s up Buccs fans, Joshua Keyes here. Wanted to say hello, really looking forward to being with you guys for the 2024 season,” Keyes said.
“I’m excited to meet my coaches, my teammates, the fans, just wanted to show my face and say hello, hope you guys are getting your year off starting great and I’ll see you soon, go Buccs.”
The signings come after the departures of three Buccaneers stars from last season — Malik Meunier, Shaun Stewart and Isaac Gattorna.
On Tuesday the Buccaneers announced on social media they had re-signed long-time player Hunt.
The Geraldton local has been a key piece of the side since 2018 and spent this off-season in Germany playing for the Baskets Vilsbiburg, who are currently in the playoffs.
The decision to bring Hunt into the team was not a tough one for the Buccs.
“For me, blokes like Liam, Mat (Wundenberg) and (Aaron) Ralphie that are on your team make my job very easy,” Joseph said.
“He’s so passionate about everyone playing at their best and Liam’s stories are well known around the place.”
After originally planning to play for Baskets Vilsbiburg before his near career-ending injury, Hunt is now helping the team go on a playoff run.
“For him to be playing in Germany as a professional basketball player at the moment is unbelievable really, and for him to come back and play for us again is going to be pretty cool,” Joseph said.
“I believe it’s quite a young team that he plays with, so he’s playing a bit of a veteran role … it’s pretty cool that he’s able to do that.
“He loves the kids, he’s got his own Breathe Basketball Program, which is to help the kids along and give them access to some basketball stuff that they normally wouldn’t get.”
The Geraldton Buccaneers’ first game is set for April 6 against the Willetton Tigers.
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