The Cairns Taipans have locked in their first import signing for #NBL20, 23-year old American forward and NBA G-Leaguer, Cameron Oliver.
Standing at 6’8” and 105kgs, Oliver is known for his efficiency at both ends of the floor – with the ability to shoot the ball consistently, crash the glass and cause problems for opposition players.
Taipans Head Coach Mike Kelly said Oliver was the perfect fit in the build of his roster, with his explosive athleticism ensuring that he will be a key contributor.
“He is a powerful player that can do a lot at both the 4 and the 5 positions. He’s a great athlete and possesses a really impressive skill set for someone so big and strong. His combination of strength and size, athleticism, skills and finesse will give us a lot of different looks and gives our team a chance to be versatile up front.”
The Californian played for the University of Nevada, where he averaged 13.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocked shots per game as a freshman and made a name for himself by winning the 2016 College Basketball Invitational title.
He went on to improve to 16 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.6 blocks, leading the Wolf Pack to a 28-7 record and the Mountain West Tournament Championship (NCAA Division I conference) as a sophomore, and was named to the MW All-Tournament team for a second consecutive time.
After only two years at college, the Houston Rockets had seen enough and signed Oliver to a multi-year deal in 2018 at just 20-years old, but an unfortunate hand injury at the Rockets training camp subsequently meant being waived by the team.
Oliver was quickly picked up by the Wisconsin Herd in the NBA G-League where he amassed an average of 10.7 points, shooting at 49 percent from the field and 7.1 rebounds per game which included a mid-season trade to the Delaware 87ers.
He improved again in his second stint in the G-League, averaging 15.5 points at 58 percent, with 9.1 boards, 2.1 blocks and 1.8 assists per game for the Blue Coats.
Coach Kelly first met Oliver at the NBA Summer League earlier this month and was impressed that he possessed all the traits he’d want to see in a Taipan.
“Cameron’s a young player – but came across as very mature, well-spoken and professional when we met him in Vegas. His two main focuses in life are his family and hoops. He has a really clear idea of where he wants to go and how he wants to get there,” said Kelly.
“He wants to make it to the NBA and he knows this is a great chance to take a step in his professional development. This will be his first season overseas and he’s excited – he and his family loved the idea of coming to Cairns, joining a welcoming community with passionate fans where he could play in front of a great crowd.”
Oliver joins Kouat Noi, Jarrod Kenny, Majok Deng, Mirko Djeric, Tom Jervis, Mirko Djeric and Fabjian Krslovic on the Taipans roster.