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Wildcats sign trio to finalise 2012/13 squad
Saturday, May 19, 2012, 03:10:00 AM
The Perth Wildcats are delighted to announce the signing of versatile guard Everard Bartlett, forward Greg Hire and big man Jeremiah Trueman to complete the 10-man squad for the 2012/13 iiNet NBL Championship season.

With Damian Martin, Brad Robbins, Kevin Lisch, Cameron Tovey, Jesse Wagstaff, Shawn Redhage and Matt Knight still under contract after the 2011/12 season that ended in an all-time great Grand Final series against the New Zealand Breakers, the 'Cats had just three positions to fill.

Following the announcement that Drew Williamson and Luke Nevill would not be re-signed, the Wildcats have secured the signatures of Trueman and Hire for the 2012/13 season, and Bartlett for the next two seasons.

With three positions available to fill, the Wildcats identified that a guard who can shoot, a three man and big man were what was required and Bartlett, Hire and Trueman will fit each of those roles perfectly.

New Zealand-native Bartlett is a 26-year-old guard who has an ability to not only shoot the ball, but to also help Martin, Robbins and Lisch carry and distribute the ball, get to the basket and play strong defence.

He originally came to Perth to live with his partner and trained with the Wildcats for the 2010/11 season and did the same last year as well, but when Martin went down injured he was signed to fill that gap.

He played six games for the 'Cats in that time and averaged over six points before Martin's return.

Once he was back, he was quickly snatched up by the Adelaide 36ers where he went on to play 14 games and average 6.

0 points, 2.

1 rebounds and 1.

9 assists.

Given he knows the 'Cats system so well and there was a position there for a guard with his abilities, Beveridge was quick to move to sign him up for the 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons.

"He has been with us for a couple of years now as a training player and had the opportunity to play when Damian was hurt, and showed plenty of good signs," Beveridge said.

"We have identified an area we needed to get better at was in three-point shooting and that's something that he can do, but he's got so much more ability than just that.

He can go off the dribble, create for others and is a very good defensive player as well.

He is definitely going to be great for us and will fit into our style of play very well.

" Hire joined the Wildcats as a development player for the 2010/11 season after his college career with Augusta State University.

He showed good signs in that campaign and then moved onto the main roster last season, and showed some outstanding form in his 31 games not only in his ability to rebound, hustle and give his all as he's renowned for, but to also step up to score in clutch situations.

Beveridge was delighted to give him the chance to continue his NBL career.

"It was very easy to offer another contract to Greg because he stands for everything that I'm about in regards to the hard work and commitment to be the best that you can," Beveridge said.

"He thoroughly deserves to earn another contract after seeing how much he has changed his body the last couple of years, how he has worked on his game and he is a tremendous leader as well.

He thoroughly deserves an opportunity to continue his career.

" Trueman has been with the Wildcats the last two seasons after beginning his NBL career with the New Zealand Breakers.

He had a tough 2011/12 season with Nevill, Knight, Wagstaff and Redhage occupying the big men positions, but that never saw him drop his head and he continued to train incredibly hard, and make sure he was ready to play any time he was called upon.

That hard work, dedication and tremendous attitude made it an easy decision for Beveridge to ask him to return for the 2012/13 season.

"We had four of the best bigs in the country in the team last season and unfortunately it was always JT that did miss out, but he just trained harder and harder every session.

There's no doubt that he is a better player now and he's a lot more mature," Beveridge said.

"It was very tough for him to sit out, but I think it will make him a better player in the long run, and hungrier to play to prove that he belongs in the league.

"We believe he can play in the league and that's why we offered him another contract.

We originally did have JT as part of the rotation last season so we are very confident that he can contribute.

" PERTH WILDCATS 2012/13 SQUAD
Damian Martin (guard)
Brad Robbins (guard)
Kevin Lisch (guard)
Everard Bartlett (guard)
Cameron Tovey (forward/guard)
Greg Hire (forward)
Jesse Wagstaff (forward)
Shawn Redhage (forward)
Matt Knight (centre/forward)
Jeremiah Trueman (centre/forward)