Last month

Taipans Sign Sam Waardenburg

The CQUniversity Cairns Taipans have inked a deal with Sam Waardenburg for his first professional playing contract; with the coveted University of Miami forward signing a two-year agreement in his anticipated return down under.

The 208cm forward recently helped the Hurricanes to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time in program history, playing as their primary big man and their best three-point shooter.

For his final year, Waardenburg was a sixth-year redshirt senior and averaged 8.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and the team-high 1.3 blocks per game.

He led the team in blocks (47) three-point percentage (46 per cent) and finished the season as one of only three Division I players to record that stat line while shooting over 40 percent from three-point range on at least one make per game.

The 23-year-old boasts a lengthy and solid collegiate career, improving from 3.3 points and 2.8 boards as a freshman to 5.9 points and 6.0 boards as a junior. He redshirted his first year at UM as well as during 2020-21 due to an injury and COVID regulations.

Throughout his tenure Waardenburg was an exemplary international student, graduating with two master's degrees and was named to the 2021-22 All-ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) Academic Team.

The Auckland native attended Rangitoto College and was MVP when he won the SAS Secondary Schools National Championship, won a silver medal for New Zealand at the U17 FIBA Oceania Championships, and won a bronze medal at the U16 Australian State Championships. Waardenburg also spent time with the Breakers as a development player.

Taipans Head Coach Adam Forde said that he had been monitoring Waardenburg closely over the years and was determined to get him to sign in Cairns.

"Sam was a top priority for us this off-season, as he was for many other teams.

“We started early on Sam with an aggressive pitch as we wanted to paint a picture of how he could complement our team moving forward. Everyone knows what he is capable of, and how high his ceiling is. We are happy that Sam made his final decision to play here, and we can’t wait to provide him with the platform to showcase his talents," said Forde.

“Sam solves some problems we faced last season. Similar to guys already in the league like Jack White and DJ Vasiljevic, Sam was a starter in the ACC which has set him up to be a ready-made professional. He has already faced and become conditioned to the pressures of winning, scrutiny of the media, and the expectations of thousands of fans. His impact in the league and for the Taipans will be immediate."

Waardenburg joins Tahjere McCall, Keanu Pinder, Bul Kuol, Majok Deng and Mirko Djeric on the Taipans 2022-23 NBL roster

Topic #50147 | Report this topic

Last month

Very nice signing this one, cairns on the up.

Reply #893531 | Report this post

Last month

Cairns , Adelaide and Breakers making a lot of moves so far. Some of teams still sitting on their hands.

Reply #893532 | Report this post

Weedy Slug  
Last month

Breakers aren't really making good moves though...

Reply #893533 | Report this post

Last month

Waardenburg could be a star in this league. He shoots the 3 well, but can also put the ball on the floor and get to the rim. He has good timing protecting the rim defensively too. Breakers will be ruing missing out on another Kiwi returning from college, they had Galloway last year and still have Loe this year, Waardenburg is a much better stretch big than either of those two.

Reply #893534 | Report this post

ME (he/kangaroo)  
Last month

His college production is somewhat modest but I think his numbers might mislead. He has a lot of great tools by the look of him - deceptive athleticism and speed, a good jump shot, can pass, can defend. Waardenburg looks like a kid who could make a late career NBA push if he puts more size on his frame and really patents what he does. He's a great pick up for Cairns and looks to have a lot of untapped potential.

Reply #893535 | Report this post

Last month

good signing - he can play, has good moves

Reply #893538 | Report this post

Edinburgh 90  
Last month

I guess we'll find out how much Sammy W likes basketball now. That's always been his biggest knock. That he plays because he's tall and talented but not because he actually has any real toughness or competitiveness. There will be nowhere to hide on Cairns so this should tell us quite a bit about what his future looks like. Its not easy to find 208cm unicorn types who can shoot the 3, block shots and pass.

Reply #893543 | Report this post

Weedy Slug  
Last month

Nbl tracker has possibles


Reply #893544 | Report this post

Last month

didnt forde say he wanted a zimmerman tip centre and that oliver isnt wanted

Reply #893545 | Report this post

Last month

Congrats to the Taipans and Sam.
Can't wait to see him suited up and playing.

Reply #893546 | Report this post

Last month

Jonah Antonio will sign with Cairns too.

Reply #893593 | Report this post

Last month

How strong is the All Atlantic competition?

Academically, what did he study to earn 2 Masters? Perhaps he's looking at moving into the tourism industry up there. Last time I was there, there were Cairns Taipans posters up on the Skytrain.

This might be a longer term career move.

Reply #893704 | Report this post

Last month


From an article that's a couple of months old, so you can assume that 'attempting to complete' can be replaced with 'completed':

"Both of Waardenburg's parents are teachers and during his six years at Miami, and he's earned his bachelor's degree in geography, a master’s degree in sports administration and is attempting to complete a second master’s degree in liberal arts."

Reply #893714 | Report this post

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