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Adelaide 36ers sign Eric Griffen to replace Jacob Wiley

The Adelaide 36ers have signed athletic swingman Eric Griffin as a replacement for Jacob Wiley, who will not return to the club for the 2019-20 NBL season.

Eric Griffen Adelaide 36ers
PHOTO: Twitter

Wiley has exercised his European out-clause and signed a contract with a club in the Euro League.

The departure allows the Sixers to bring in Eric Griffin, a 6-foot-9 forward with a 7-foot wingspan, who is renowned for his impressive rim protection and highlight-reel dunks.

Griffin has long been on the NBA’s radar, competing in five NBA Summer Leagues and also playing pre-season games for the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks.

In the 2014-14 season, the power forward earned himself a spot on the NBA D-League All Star Team, following a stand out season with the Texas Legends, where he averaged 19.0 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.4 blocks.

The 29-year-old from Orlando boasts a wealth of international experience, playing professionally in Italy, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, the United Arab Emirates, Dominican Republic, Israel and Poland.

Adelaide 36ers coach Joey Wright is confident Griffin will not only fill Wiley’s spot, but offer more experience.

“Eric is along the same lines as Jake; a very athletic player,” he said.

“He plays above the rim and he has a lot more experience than Jake in playing international ball, as well as playing in the NBA Summer League and some pre-season games as well.

“He is very athletic, he’s a great ball handler, great passer and his basketball IQ is really high too.

“I think we’ll get a really good feel for him when he gets out here and be excited about his play.”

Adelaide 36ers owner Grant Kelley is thrilled about Griffin’s signing and commended Wright on his efforts at finding a more than suitable replacement for Wiley.

“It’s always sad when a player of Jacob’s calibre departs the team, but on behalf of the club I wish him all the very best with the fantastic opportunity that has presented itself,” he said.

“Fortunately for the 36ers, Joey is the master at recruiting and has secured the services of the exciting and talented Eric Griffin, who I’m confident is set to become a fan favourite.”

Wiley’s move does not come as a surprise to Wright, following the hype-man’s domination of Spain’s top professional league in the NBL off season.

“We were definitely prepared for it. I’ve been talking to Jake the whole time he’s been in Spain. He’s been playing really well and it’s a great opportunity for him,” Wright said.

“You only have a window in basketball for so long and he needs to take advantage of this while the iron is hot.”

Griffin’s signing finalises the Sixers’ 2019-20 roster, which includes Daniel Johnson, Anthony Drmic, Harry Froling, Jack McVeigh, Brendan Teys, Kevin White, Daniel Dillion, Ramone Moore, Deshon Taylor and development player, Alex Mudronja.

Membership to the Adelaide 36ers’ historic season at their new home, the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, went on sale to the general public on Monday, 1 July. 

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