THE Albury-Wodonga Bandits are confident Kenyan-born signing Manny Malou can fill the void left by injured power forward Mitch Newton.
Malou, who stands at 205-centimetres, joins the club following a successful season in the Big V competition for Melton where he posted 20 points and nine rebounds a game.
"Having been able to secure Manny so late in the piece after losing Mitch Newton before our season even started is a massive coup for us and him agreeing to sign is fantastic," coach Brad Chalmers said.
"He's a legitimate talent with super potential.
"He plays above the rim and can shoot, dribble and pass at a high level and I know he was very committed to the cause from the first time I spoke to him.
"He's really keen to make the step into the NBL 1 to showcase his talents and push his career forward.
"He has high goals of being in the NBL system next year and we see him as a great fit for our program. At the end of the day adding a high quality piece like this will provide us with the depth we think we need to be able to compete deep into the NBL 1 season."
Malou has most recently been playing in the Thailand TBSL, finishing runner-up in the championship series where he averaged 18 points and nine rebounds a game.
He played for Yuba Community College in the US as a youngster and caught the eye of many division one schools and NBA scouts.
Malou was committed to the University of Iowa State before entering his name in the 2016 NBA Draft.
Although he wasn't selected that year, he had several NBA try-outs with Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns and was offered a Summer League spot with the Suns before injury curtailed his chances of fulfilling the dream.
Malou will play his first game for the Bandits against Diamond Valley at Lauren Jackson Sports Centre from 8pm on Saturday night.
In the women, the same teams will clash at 6pm with Lauren Jackson's side chasing its second win.