'Diamond in the rough' in frame for Taipans
JUNE 01, 2018
THE Melton Thoroughbreds are resigned to losing Emmanuel Malou, with their coach Joe Hooks hopeful a deal will be completed with the Cairns Taipans for their star swingman in the near future.
Malou is a 2.06m small forward who signed with Iowa State University in 2015 but declared for the NBA draft soon after following issues with his college eligibility.
The Kenyan-born Australian had pre-draft workouts with NBA club the Sacramento Kings before going undrafted and has most recently played for the Thoroughbreds in Melbourne’s Big V men’s division 2.
Earlier this week new Taipans coach Mike Kelly said he was searching for a small forward for his final Australian roster spot, with Malou in the frame to fill the slot.
Melton play Pakenham tonight with Hooks, a coach and mentor of the 24-year-old, hopeful Malou will have returned from the Far North in time to play.
"From what I understand, he will play with us for the rest of the season before he goes to join the Taipans," Hooks said.
BACKED: Emmanuel Malou.
“Emmanuel was in Cairns this week for five days for his final workout with them.
“Hopefully he can play out the season with us and then get up to Cairns.”
Before signing with Iowa, as a freshman at California’s Yuba College in 2014-15, Malou averaged 14.7 points and 8.5 rebounds a game.
He knocked back offers from QBL clubs to keep playing in the Big V men’s division 2 competition under Hooks.
He is averaging almost 20 points and nine rebounds a game this season for Melton.
Hooks believes Malou has the ability to return to the USA and make it in the NBA.
“This kid has not scratched the surface of his potential. If he stays on the right path and with the right people, he is an NBA player,” Hooks said.
“If the ink does dry with Cairns, they will have a jewel because he is a diamond in the rough.”
The Cairns Taipans were contacted for comment.