Jazz to host NBL’s Sydney Kings in preseason opener
Will be the first game inside newly renovated arena
August 4, 2017
The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball League (NBL) announced today the Utah Jazz will host the Sydney Kings on Oct. 2 at Vivint Smart Home Arena, marking the first time that NBL teams will travel to the U.S. to play against NBA Teams.
"The Jazz are the most internationally diverse team in the NBA, including two players from Australia," said Utah Jazz President Steve Starks. "Our franchise is excited to host an NBL team from Sydney in the first game played at our newly remodeled Vivint Smart Home Arena."
Joe Ingles and Danté Exum are the two current Aussies on the Jazz, after a record-tying eight Australian players appeared on 2016-17 opening night NBA rosters. Ingles began his professional career with the South Dragons of the NBL (2006-09) at the age of 18, earning 2006-07 NBL Rookie of the Year and winning an NBL championship in 2008-09.
"This is massive for Australian basketball and an exciting opportunity for NBA and NBL players to compete together on the same floor," said Ingles. "As an Aussie who began my career in the NBL and now entering my fourth season with Utah, I am very proud of the growth of the game in my home country and can't wait for the Jazz and Salt Lake City to play host to Sydney this fall."
A native of Happy Valley, South Australia, Ingles re-signed with the Jazz to a multi-year contract on July 25. The 29-year-old is entering his fourth NBA campaign, all with the Jazz. He finished this past season averaging career highs in points (7.1), rebounds (3.2) and assists (2.7), while ranking third in the league in three-point percentage (.441) in 24.1 minutes per contest. The 22-year-old Melbourne-born Exum just finished his second NBA season averaging 6.2 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.0 rebounds in 18.6 minutes per game and became the fifth Jazz player to appear in multiple Rising Stars Challenges (2015, 2017). Both Ingles and Exum are members of the Boomers, the Australian Men's National Team program.
The Jazz, who were already the most international team in the NBA last season, now have eight players on the current Jazz roster born outside the United States hailing from Australia (two), France, Brazil, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the Ukraine.
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The complete 2017 Jazz preseason schedule will be announced at a later date.
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