The Perth Wildcats have signed guard Drake U’u from California Polytechnic State University for the 2013/14 NBL season.
The 23-year-old grew up in Sacremento in the United States but his mother was born in Hobart – meaning he has an Australian passport and is worth just three points in the NBL’s player points cap system.
U’u is a versatile guard who stands at 192cm and weighs 97kg. He has trained with the Wildcats for three weeks and joins the team as a replacement for Mathiang Muo - who will miss the 2013/14 season with an Achilles injury.
U’u is excited about the opportunity.
“I’m really thrilled and fortunate to be in this situation. I’ve worked really hard so I’m glad it’s all worked out,” he said.
“I bring an all-round type game, I feel like I can play either the one or the two, or even the three if I need to. I’m hard-working and I’ll bring energy to both sides of the court.”
Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson said after trialling with the team for three weeks, U’u has already established some good on-court chemistry with his new teammates.
“He’s been sensational. He has a great work ethic and the guys love playing with him. He is unselfish, he works hard and he’ll be a great addition to the team,” said Gleeson.
“He had an outstanding game against the SBL-All Stars last week so we are really happy that he will be joining us. He’s got a good basketball IQ and understands the game. He’s also physically strong and is very competitive on the floor.”
In the Wildcats exhibition match against the SBL All-Stars, U’u scored 13 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists.
In his senior year with the Cal Poly Mustangs, he averaged 5.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.
Drake U’u and the Perth Wildcats fly to Sydney on Wednesday morning for the NBL Pre-Season Blitz.
DOB: 18 January, 1990
Birth Place: San Francisco, California, USA
Wildcats Playing Number: 22