Werribee Devils import paying dividends

Werribee's Konor Kulas. Picture Shawn Smits.

Star import Konor Kulas has had a profound impact, not only on the Werribee Devils, but on the Big V basketball men’s state championship as a whole.

Kulas has taken the league by storm, averaging 24.1 points and 10.6 rebounds per game.

Last week, Kulas was the leading scorer in the competition, but he dipped to third after a relatively quiet double header last weekend – well, by his standards, back to back double doubles is certainly nothing to sneeze at.

Kulas is relishing the chance to be the Devils’ go-to player in the post and is benefitting from a system that promotes high scoring.

“I’ve always kind of had a leadership role on most teams I’ve played on and been expected to score,” Kulas said.

“This one is no different.

“Our team tries to play a really fast tempo and score a lot of points.

“We’ve got a lot of guys that score a lot.”

Werribee has won two of its past three games and Kulas has been influential in both of those victories.

In the 105-91 win over Keilor Thunder on May 6, the power forward scored a career-high 42 points and 10 rebounds.

He backed it up in Saturday night’s 103-90 win over Hume City Broncos with 26 points and 15 rebounds, before cooling off with 13 points and 13 rebounds in Sunday’s 75-71 loss to Knox Raiders.

Kulas will never forget his 42-point outing.

“That’s the most I’ve ever scored in a game in high school, college or playing anywhere else, it’s pretty cool,” he said.

“Most importantly, we got the win and hopefully we’re back on track to get some more wins and to climb up the ladder.”

It has been a season of promise for the new-look Werribee, but it remains mid-table with a 4-7 record.

It could have been so much better for the Devils had they won more of the close ones.

“We’ve lost two in overtime, one on a buzzer beater and a couple of other ones that we’ve got within five,” Kulas lamented.

“We’ve been right there, but I think we’re improving, so hopefully we can start winning those close games and get some more wins.”

Kulas is adamant Werribee can make a run to the playoffs in the second half of the season.

“Definitely, that’s our goal to get into the playoffs and make some noise,” Kulas said.

“We have one player back from the Werribee team last season, besides that it’s all new guys and a new coach, but we have a really good chemistry.”

Growing up in Wisconsin, Kulas was interested in basketball from a young age.

His dad played professionally in Ireland and grandad played NCAA division 1 college with the Wisconsin Badgers.

Kulas had an ambition to play basketball abroad and after impressing with NCAA division 2 college South Dakota School of Mines, he got his wish to travel and play after he was recruited by German club BBC Montabaur.

“It’s been my goal since I was about 16 to be able to travel and play basketball, so this is a dream come true,” he said.

Kulas is not only dominating on the court, he’s leaving his mark off it. Together with Werribee’s other import Bryan Nagy, the pair run basketball clinics and attend junior games.

“We run a lot of Aussie Hoops camps for the young kids and make school visits in the area,” Kulas said.