Former WWU hoopster to play in Australia
Feb. 13, 2013
Mackay, Austraiia -
Sports Staff, Mackay Daily Mercury
Michael Duty boosts a Meteors side looking for an unprecedented three-peat in the QBL and his 198cm, 105kg frame backs up a frontline that already includes big men Greg Vanderjagt, Luke Harvey and Nick Chenery.
The Seattle native has had an outstanding American college basketball career and is coming off a championship win with Bellingham Slam in the International Basketball League, a US west coast competition.
"I like it a lot here, it's a lot different from where I have been where it's cold and rainy, and the people are very nice," he said.
"It's very hot but I'm getting there. Hopefully it will cool down which will help me a lot.
"Mackay is a very strong basketball town with a lot of people behind the team who come along here and support us."
Duty was named as a first-team Great Northwest Athletic Conference all-star as a college senior playing for Western Washington University. He averaged a team-leading 16.4 points, seventh in the conference and grabbed 5.9 rebounds per game.
Coach Joel Khalu said with big man Michael Kingma not returning this season, Duty was a good fit for the 2013 campaign.
"We need a versatile forward who can rebound and also score, and he ticks all the boxes," Khalu said.
"We need someone up front with a bit of size. Mike's strong and athletic and can shoot the ball well. He can play inside and out and I think that will make him a tough cover for opposition QBL teams."
Khalu said the Meteors were close to completing their roster with the appointment of a second import player.
"Some of the players we were looking at in the NBL have been ruled out," he said.
"We're probably going to go down the US path with that import."
Signings to date are Brad Rasmussen, Sam Bartolo, Mitchell Gamblin, Hayden Wicks, Matthew Gange, Greg Vanderjagt, Luke Harvey, Nick Chenery, Brendan Shepherd, Marcus Fossey, Michael Duty and development player Brendan Furdek.
LINE OF DUTY
BASKETBALL has been Michael Duty's life since he was a little boy.
"My dad started coaching me at the YMCA in Seattle when I was four or five years old," he said.
"I've been in love with it ever since.
"Dad coached me and my older brother. I got interested and I've stuck with it.
"I've played other sports but I've always played basketball. I've never missed a season."
It's the second visit to Australia for Duty, 25, who previously played here in 2009.
His life ambition is to play in America's NBL, the pinnacle of the sport.
"It takes a lot of skill and dedication to get there, and a lot of sacrifices to yourself, your team and your family," he said.
"I definitely want to be there. I've just turned 25 so I've got plenty of time. That's all part of the agenda."
Slam's Duty signs with Australian club
BELLINGHAM, Wash. --- Former Bellingham Slam forward Michael Duty is heading overseas to play professionally for the first time.
The 6-foot-6 standout from Western Washington has signed with the Mackay Meteors of Australia's Queensland Basketball League after suiting up for the Slam for the past two seasons.
Duty has already arrived in Australia and begun training with his new team, which begins its season in May.
"This opportunity has been something I've dreamed about since I was a kid. I've had a roller coaster ride with the overseas game since I graduated so to be somewhere and finally secured is a blessing," said Duty of earning his first overseas contract.
"The Meteors have won the past two championships here and have high expectations of both myself and our team as a whole," added Duty.
Duty graduated from WWU in 2011 after three seasons with the Vikings, and was named a first-team Great Northwest Athletic Conference all-star as a senior after leading the squad with 16.4 points per game.
Duty stayed in Bellingham after completing his senior season with WWU and went on to average 10.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest in his rookie professional season for the Slam in 2011, helping the team to the best regular season record in the International Basketball League that season.
In 2012, Duty upped his scoring average to 13.6 points per game and posted a career high of 27 points in a 135-125 win at Orlando on May 4.
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