Westports Malaysia Dragons welcome 26-year-old Curtis Washington as the new world import for the team after the departure of Solomon Jones a week ago.

Washington, who hails from the United States competed with Taranaki Mountainairs and Mike Pero Nelson Giants in the New Zealand’s national basketball league (NBL) averaging 9 points and five rebounds per game.

He was recently awarded as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) world import for Flying Wheel Makassar during the finals of Jawa Pos Honda Pro Tournament 2017. Washington averaged 22.8 points and 15 rebounds per game in the tournament.

According to team manager Yakub Hussaini, he was recommended to the Dragons prior to the start of the league and they were unable to sign him up at that time because of his previous contract.

Yakub admitted that Jones’ departure from the team has been difficult for the team to look out for a good available player within the region with very limited options.

“Curtis was recommended to us. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get him in early for our first game because he had to abide by his existing contract. Once he was a free agent, we scrambled to sign him and get his papers in order.

“When Curtis was free, we got in touch with his agent and started negotiation process as quickly as we can. All this was done on our way back from Bangkok to KL. He will complement the players that we have. Coach Chris, Coach Adrian and Shoghi all played their parts to make sure we get the player. I know he is a true professional and plays hard every game and will be a good addition to the team,” Yakub said.

Standing at 6 feet 10 inches, Washington’s addition to the Malaysian team is timely with the upcoming two matches with Chong Son Kung Fu (November 29) and Mono Vampire (December 2) in Kuala Lumpur.

“We are very excited to add Curtis to our roster. He’s an incredibly versatile player in the inside-out who will give us a much needed boost defending the post.

“He’s also going to be a tremendous asset off the floor as well. His tremendous attitude and personality will instantly endure him to the rest of the team and allow him to adapt quickly to our “Just Us” team mentality,” Dragons’ head coach Christopher Thomas said.

by Norman Goh & Benjamin Lim