Canterbury Rams build strong squad as they chase elusive NBL title

The Canterbury Rams are hopeful they have put together a squad good enough to win their first national title in 29 years.

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The Rams have built a strong squad and hope to win their first NZ NBL title in 29 years. Source: 1 Sport

For the first time in recent years, they have a full roster, with a mix of talent from fresh out of high school to fresh from the big leagues in the United States.

EJ Singler and Deshon Taylor are the two American imports, while Illawarra Hawks forward Max Darling has also been added to the roster.

Singler played college basketball for Oregon, before going undrafted in the 2013 NBA draft. He played in the NBA G-League and also featured on a number of summer league rosters, but was never quite able to nail down an NBA roster spot.

The New Zealand Basketball League is not quite of the same calibre, but Singler was buoyant to have the opportunity to play basketball given the current pandemic.

"Every day in quarantine I was thinking about coming here, meeting the guys and coaches, and the season's finally upon us," he told 1 NEWS.

His older brother, Kyle, also has a New Zealand connection.

He played alongside Steven Adams at the Oklahoma City Thunder between 2015 and 2018.

Taylor played for the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2019 summer league after going undrafted in the NBA draft earlier that year.

"We've definitely got the talent," Rams coach Mick Downer said.

"We've got all the ingredients there, and depth we need to use as an advantage. It can be a positive and negative because at the end of the day we've got a lot of good players and limited minutes to spread around."

It is not a bad problem to have as they chase an elusive title, and with their first home game next weekend nearing a sellout, the Rams are ready to lock horns.