Melbourne United have announced the much-anticipated signing of Jock Landale, on a one-year deal for the NBL21 season.
Landale, a 211 cm Australian Boomer, most recently played in the prestigious EuroLeague competition. He was having a breakout season in Europe, averaging 11 points, while shooting over 30% from the 3pt line.
Melbourne United now have a complete roster and are shaping up as one of the top contenders to win the Hungry Jacks 2020-21 NBL Championship.
Landale, a member of the Australian Boomers team, represented his country on numerous occasions and played a key role at last year’s FIBA World Cup in China. He also impressed against Team USA in the exhibition games played here in Australia in 2019.
Growing up in Melbourne, Landale spoke of his excitement to finally play professional basketball in his home city.
“I am incredibly excited to be playing in my home country for the first time in years, for an organisation that’s already done so much for me. It’ll be a once in a lifetime experience getting to play here in front of family and friends, in the unique situation that is Australia right now. It is currently so open and free-moving during this pandemic.” Landale said.
When asked about why he decided on Melbourne United, Landale said the choice was easy.
“The decision was easy in the end. Melbourne is one of the safest places to be during this pandemic and that is hard to turn down. We know the NBL will go the distance with little to no impact from COVID… hopefully I don’t jinx that.”
“The decision to play for United came after that and again, it was easy because I loved playing with Chris (Goulding), Mitch (McCarron) and (David) Barlow when with the Boomers.”
“I felt as though practicing with the team during the last couple months made it so easy because we have already built really good chemistry.”
“I am very excited to play with all the guys on the team and for such a great coaching staff. I’ve been very impressed with everything I’ve seen so far, and honestly credit to the whole organisation for putting together such a deep roster. I feel like every player on the roster could start on any NBL team.”
Landale also spoke of his love of a big crowd when playing and is encouraged by what he’s heard about the vocal Melbourne United fanbase.
“I love feeding off a crowd’s energy. I’ve heard great things about the United fans and I’m keen to get to know the fan base more and be a big part of that energy. Hopefully we can see a packed arena sometime this season.”
It is well-known that Landale has his sights set on the NBA and the upcoming Olympics, but he believed that Melbourne United was the perfect place to hone his craft and improve.
“The club has already helped me so much that I feel like I will only come out of this experience better. I have a lot to work on and feel like these guys are going to help me have a massive 6-7 months personally.”
“I’m also eager to win a championship at this level and for this club before turning my attention anywhere else.”
Landale has been training with Melbourne United since mid-2020, and Head Coach Dean Vickerman has been eagerly anticipating the chance to sign the coveted big-man.
“We’re really very happy that we can finally say that Jock Landale is a Melbourne United player,” Vickerman said.
“He’s been here working out with us for most of the off-season, and he certainly is impressive. He is a very mobile, strong, athletic centre, who
can body you around the basket but also stretch the floor and hit the 3-ball.”
“We believe that our retention of players, combined with our recruitment, has put us in a great position to contend for another NBL championship.”
“With the support of our members, sponsors, stakeholders and fans, we can’t wait to get this never-ending off-season out of the way and get stuck into the season.”
The NBL21 Season tips off on January 10, 2021 with Melbourne United set to face cross-town rivals, the South East Melbourne Phoenix, in Throwdown V.