Imports return for Werribee Devils with unfinished business

Star guard Jeremy Smith will return to Werribee Devils this season. Picture Shawn Smits

Werribee Devils have rolled out the welcome mat for last season’s imports Jeremy Smith and Fred Hunter.

The Devils opted to re-sign the American pair after their success with the club in the 2016 Big V Basketball men’s state championship.

“Our top priority this off-season was to get Jeremy and Fred back to Werribee,” second-year Devils’ coach Michael Czepil said.

“They both made a massive contribution to our club this past season, both on and off the court.

“So we are thrilled they want to come back and continue the work they began last year.”

Smith did it all in the back court for Werribee last season.

The guard averaged 24.5 points, second-best in the league, to go with 8.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.

Smith shot a remarkable 59.1 per cent from the field and 41 per cent from beyond the arc.

His ability to get to the free throw line was not wasted either, as he scored the fourth-most points from the charity stripe in the league.

“I can’t wait to get back in the Werribee community,” Smith, currently in New Orleans, said.

“I felt like I left with a bit of unfinished business, both on and off the court.

“I look forward to making an impact and accomplishing more during the 2017 season.”

Hunter was a late arrival to Werribee last season, missing the opening four games.

But once he shook off some early rust, he became a huge threat for the Devils, both offensively and defensively.

He averaged 19.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game to go with 3.1 assists.

Hunter led the league in steals, with 2.2 per contest.

Also hailing from New Orleans, Hunter is looking forward to a full season in the Devils’ uniform.

“I’m happy to be returning back to Werribee,” he said.

“Being able to play with Jeremy again, and to play for coach ‘Czep’ were a big part of me returning. I think the team started to figure things out towards the end of the season, and I want to see how we go right from the start.

“I feel like we can accomplish more.”

Smith and Hunter are slated to arrive for preseason training in early February.