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Former Geraldton Buccaneers guard Michael Lay will continue his SBL career with the Perry Lakes Hawks this year.
The final details in a deal for the energetic point guard are expected to be stitched up this week and Hawks coach Shawn Dennis could not be happier.
Dennis said signing Lay filled a void in the Hawks’ line-up at the point guard position.
The Perth Wildcats assistant coach also suggested Lay could still carve out a career in the NBL.
Dennis, who is preparing for his first season as Perry Lakes coach, said Lay had the talent to make it in Australia’s top-flight basketball league.
“Whether it is the Wildcats, or any team in the NBL, I think they would love to have a guy like Mike on their roster because he is definitely good enough,” he said.
Lay, a two-time Buccaneers MVP, said Perry Lakes offered the “best opportunity to advance my basketball career and the best overall situation for my wife and I to transition to Perth”.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in Geraldton as a Buccaneer,” he said.
“I’m really excited about the upcoming season and I am not only looking forward to the match against Geraldton but every opponent in the 2013 season.”
SBL fixtures are yet to be released but competition manager Christian Rice said the Buccs were pencilled in to play Perry Lakes in Geraldton on Saturday, May 11.
Dennis said the game would be one of the Hawks’ biggest of the season.
“It will definitely be full-on,” he said.
“Individually, Mike will have a point to prove and as a team the Buccaneers will have a point to prove.
“But I do not think we can get too tied up with that just yet.”
Lay said if the opportunity to play at NBL level presented itself it would fulfil a childhood dream.
“I am definitely interested in playing at that level,” he said.
“To play at that level would fulfil my dream of playing professional basketball at the highest level I possibly can.
“As far as my residency is concerned it is not holding me back from playing at that level. “I’ve had try-outs with NBL clubs in the past, but once I am naturalised my hope is that it may open up some doors. After all, I am not getting any younger.”
The Geraldton Guardian reported on December 19 that the Stirling Senators and Hawks were chasing Lay’s signature after the Buccs overlooked the American as an import on their 2013 roster. Dennis said Lay would make the move to Perth in February.