News Article

NBL24 season review - Keanu Pinder

27 Mar
4 mins read

Written By

Jordan McArdle

It’s been an exciting homecoming for first-year Perth Wildcat Keanu Pinder, who made an instant impact in his return to WA.

The athletic big man from Derby in WA’s north-west joined the Wildcats after stints in Adelaide and more recently Cairns where he was a two-time winner of the competition’s Most Improved Player award.

Pinder slotted seamlessly into the Wildcats’ starting five, providing a real presence in the paint with his size and rebounding ability.

The 28-year-old averaged 13.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.7 steals in NBL24, having an impact at both ends of the floor. 

He also became a crowd favourite at RAC Arena, adding to his ever-growing highlight reel with some amazing dunks including a 360 during the regular season and a poster on Tasmania’s Marcus Lee in the semi-final series.

A big area of Pinder’s improvement came from beyond the three-point arc, highlighted by a career-high five triples in a dominant game-one performance to lead the Wildcats to victory over the JackJumpers.

Not only did Pinder reach career-best numbers in three-point percentage and three-pointers made this season, this season was also his best in field-goals made, assists and steals.

"Keanu had a great week leading up to this and he chips away at his shooting," Wildcats head coach John Rillie said after Pinder’s sparkling play-offs debut.

"I want him to expand that part of his game and you saw when he steps up and shoots it confidently, it is a difference for us especially when we were playing a little clunky at the offensive end at some stages.

"It was a great performance and this was KP's first time playing at this level, and what a great start for him." 

Pinder reached double figures in 23 of 31 games last season, including three double-doubles.

Despite an injury-interrupted pre-season, the 210cm centre/forward finished second in the Gordon Ellis Medal count behind winner Bryce Cotton in a sign of his significant contribution to the Wildcats.


NBL24 stats – Keanu Pinder

Points: 13.6 per game

Rebounds: 6.6

Assists: 1.9

Steals: 1.7

Blocks: 0.6


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