2015/16: Wildcats vice-captain Greg Hire played an important leadership role with the team in 2015/16, delivering consistency and toughness off the bench throughout a strong season. Hire celebrated his 150th appearance with the Perth Wildcats last season, and also set a career high in scoring with 14 points against Cairns. The guard appeared in all 34 games last season, starting once, and enjoyed averages of 3.3 points per game, 3.2 rebounds per game while shooting 37.5% from beyond the arc.
Career: Hire is a product of the Wanneroo Wolves basketball program where he was named SBL Rookie of the Year in 2006. He attended college in the US at Miles Community College and Augusta State University before returning to Australia in 2010 and joining the Wildcats as a development player. Hire continued to play in the SBL with Wanneroo, where he captained the Wolves to the 2011 championship. He has enjoyed great success with the Wildcats, being an integral part of the 2014 and 2016 Championship teams. The team’s vice-captain averages 3.5 points per game, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game throughout his NBL career.
2015/16: Jarrod Kenny played his first season in the NBL last year, playing a crucial role off the bench and steering the Wildcats to success through the absence of the injured Damian Martin. The New Zealand native appeared in all 34 games, starting an impressive 15, playing high energy defence from the point guard position. Kenny scored a season high 12 points against Townsville, and will be remembered for knocking down a full court buzzer beater and his clutch shooting from the corner. Averaging 4.6 points, 1.3 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game, Kenny was a crucial part of the Wildcats bench and played a vital role for the team during their Finals campaign.
Career: Jarrod Kenny played with the Harbour Heat from 2002 to 2008 before signing with the Hawke’s Bay Hawks in 2009, where he became one of the NZ NBL’s best point guards.
In the 2015 season he averaged an impressive 6.3 assists per game to go with 10.3 points, 1.3 steals and 2.8 rebounds Kenny has represented New Zealand in several FIBA Oceania Championships, delivering several key performances. At the 2015 FIBA Oceania Championships, Kenny was one of New Zealand’s best in game one of series, scoring 12 points on the big stage, including three of five from deep. After a strong rookie season in the NBL, Kenny re-signed with the Wildcats for three seasons.
2015/16: Matt Knight’s value to the Wildcats in 2015/16 cannot be understated. With a variety of injuries impacting the starting line-up, Knight persevered through a serious shoulder injury of his own to offer a consistent presence as the team’s starting power forward. Knight played in 33 of a possible 34 games, starting in each of his appearances, and battled tirelessly throughout the season on his way to being named in the All-NBL Second Team. Enjoying his time at the four spot, Knight averaged 11.5 points and 7.91 rebounds per game, accumulating eight double-doubles and providing several key performances throughout the season.
Career: Matt Knight is a product of Tasmanian basketball and was a part of Australia’s under-20 World Championship winning team before studying at Loyola Marymount University in the United States. Following college, he returned to Australia to play for the West Sydney Razorbacks, which then became the Sydney Spirit. Knight played for one season in Hungary in 2009/10 before being signed by the Perth Wildcats, where he played in the 2012 and 2013 Grand Finals, before his crucial role in the 2014 and 2016 championship teams.
Career: Melbourne born Dexter Kernich-Drew joins the Wildcats for his first season in the NBL in 2016/17. The 6’7” guard showed a flair for defence and knockdown shooting throughout his time at Washington State University, with Kernich-Drew shooting an impressive 43.3% from deep in his final year at college. The 24-year-old spent time with the Wildcats in 2015/16, training with the championship squad late in the season after spending time playing in Brazil. Kernich-Drew averaged 6.3 points, 0.8 assists and 1.7 rebounds per game during his senior year at WSU, while shooting an impressive clip from beyond the arc and a steady 78.1% from the free throw line.
2015/16: After receiving NBL Rookie of the Year in 2014/15, Brandt’s role seemed destined to increase. The Sydney Kings front-court depth posed an initial challenge but, when an injury to Julian Khazzouh afforded Brandt an opportunity with the starters, the centre stood up in a big way. After playing just 10 minutes per game to start the season, Brandt closed 2015 on a tear, averaging 10.5 points and over 21 minutes of play per game. Brandt featured in every game for the Kings, finishing the season with averages of 8.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game, with his energy and interior presence endearing himself to Trevor Gleeson and the Wildcats staff ahead of his move to Perth for the 2016/17 season.
Career: Angus Brandt joins the Wildcats after an impressive college career at Oregon State University and some experience in the NBL. The 208cm centre averaged 12.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game throughout his senior year at OSU, before signing his first professional contract with the Sydney Kings. Brandt was awarded NBL Rookie of the Year in 2014/15, earning an increased role in the Kings 2015/16 campaign. At the conclusion of the NBL season, Brandt spent time in Lithuania, where he helped BC Neptunas to a Grand Final series, contributing 4.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. The centre joined the Boomers on a four game series against China in 2014, and also represented Australia at the World University Games in 2011.
2015/16: Jesse Wagstaff offered a consistent impact off the bench for the Wildcats in 2015/16, appearing in all 34 games with three starts. Averaging 9.3 points, 1.6 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game, Wagstaff helped stretch the floor for the team last season, and did not lack for individual highlights. Wagstaff notched his 200th game with the club last season and celebrated in style, raining down six triples (all in a final quarter barrage) to score a career high 26 points in a crucial victory against the Sydney Kings. The forward led the bench in scoring on 12 occasions throughout the year, and set a career high for total assists and rebounds over the course of the season.
Career: Raised in Canberra, Wagstaff attended college in the USA at Metro State University before returning to Australia in 2009 where he was signed by the Perth Wildcats. In his first season at the club, he was a part of the 2010 championship-winning team and was also named the NBL’s Rookie of the Year. In 2012, Wagstaff was awarded the League’s Best Sixth Man. In 2014 he became a two-time NBL Champion with the Perth Wildcats, before winning his third title with the club in 2016. Throughout his NBL career, Wagstaff has averaged 9.7 points, 1.1 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game.
2015/16: Perth Wildcats captain Damian Martin enjoyed a stellar 2015/16, persevering through two major injuries to lead the team to the NBL Championship. After battling through a calf complaint that interrupted his pre-season, Martin’s return to the court was cut short by a severely broken jaw that seemed set to rule the guard out for six to eight weeks. Not to be discouraged, the relentless defender missed just five games, before finishing the season on a high after being award the Larry Sengstock medal for Grand Final MVP. Martin averaged 5.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game, along with 1.8 steals and delivered a host of emphatic blocks.
Career: Damian Martin captained Australia’s under-20 team to a world championship in 2003, defeating the USA in the gold medal game. He then attended Loyola Marymount University before making his NBL debut for the Sydney Spirit in the 2008/09 season. The Perth Wildcats recruited Martin in 2009 where he became a championship player with the club in his first season. He also captained the team to the 2014 and 2016 Championships. Martin has been named NBL Best Defensive Player a league record five times, and represented Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Throughout his Wildcats career, he has averaged 7.3 points per game, 5.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.1 steals.