MORAGA, Calif. — Four-year player Dane Pineau has signed a contract to play professional basketball for the Sydney Kings during the 2017-18 season, the power forward announced.
Pineau, who finished his career as a Gael this season, will join the National Basketball League (NBL) club in the end of July to begin his new journey as another Gael to play professional basketball.
“I signed with the Kings during spring break and it was made official just this last week,” stated former Saint Mary’s power forward Pineau. “I’m really excited about it and I get to the play the sport that I love for a living. Anytime you get to do something like that is really a blessing and I can’t wait to get started with the Kings at the end of July.”
Pineau ranks among the all-time leaders in multiple categories for the decorated Gaels basketball program. The 6-9 Aussie is tied for the program’s best field goal percentage at 61.6 percent for his career. Pineau tied the single season record for highest field percentage in 2015-16 when he shot 66.7 percent from the floor. He converted 60.8 percent of his shots in 2016-17.
Pineau also places fifth in all-time blocks with 112 for a career average of 0.89 blocked shots per game.
Excited for his new opportunity, Pineau knows deeply how much his time at Saint Mary’s has meant to him and his development as both an individual and a basketball player.
“It has been the best,” said Pineau about his time in Moraga. “The thing I’ll miss the most is the boys and just hanging out with the them in and outside the locker room. I’ll miss hanging out at campus and knowing a bunch of people. It is a cool thing where it is such a close community and I feel like I know so many of the people.”
“As a player, I think I’ve improved a lot in my defense. My leadership is something Coach Bennett taught me a lot of. I think athletically, I’ve become quicker and stronger as well. Being a bit more confident in coaching other guys and being a good teammate...It is the culture that the coaches preach here and it helped me out a lot.”
The senior will be going back home to where his love for basketball began, but understands the new challenges which await him and his beginning with the Kings.
“I really can’t wait,” said Pineau on how he feels going back to Australia. “I’ll be so much closer to my friends and family back home. It’ll be fun to be back and I’m really excited for it. Didn’t really think of playing anywhere else aside from Australia.”
“It is going to be a challenge for sure. There will be a few different rules with FIBA basketball. I know it will be tougher with the older guys. I know I need to get bigger and stronger myself so I’m really excited to go there and start a new journey with a new club. It is a cool thing to start fresh with a new coach, new guys and new setting.”
Despite being in a new continent, country and across an entire ocean, Gaels fans should not be shocked to see Pineau back in the United States to cheer on his former teammates and coaches.
“The NBL season starts in October and it does run a little shorter than the college basketball season,” said Pineau. “I imagine I’d be able to come back and catch some important events like if the team is in the tournament which would be cool.”
The NBL is the top basketball league in Australia and is composed of eight quality teams. The typical NBL season will begin in October and end in early February. For all the latest news, schedules and information on the league, followers can visit the NBL site here.
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