JackJumpers lose inaugural player as another re-signs

The NBL off-season continues to be a busy one for the Tasmania JackJumpers who have announced the departure of one of their inaugural players and the re-signing of another while they also have two homegrown talents in their sights.

The Tasmania JackJumpers will be without one of its founding players for NBL24 following Sam McDaniel’s decision not to re-sign with the club for next season.

McDaniel, who was the first player contracted to the NBL’s newest franchise in 2021, declined his player option clause for next season and will explore free agency during the off-season.

JackJumpers acting Co-CEO Jorrick Chivers thanked McDaniel for his time with the club and said he had been an vital member of the squad’s run to consecutive playoff series.

“Sam and his family have been an integral part of our program across two seasons. He was the very first player contracted to the JackJumpers in 2021, and we have absolutely loved having him as part of the foundations of this club, Chivers said.

“We wish Sam and his family all the very best for the future, both on and off the court. They’ll always be valued members of the JackJumpers family and history of the club.”

It was a tough sophomore year for McDaniel in JackJumpers colours with the 27-year-old breaking his ribs playing for the Hobart Chargers in the NBL1 South grand final on the eve of the NBL season before a second injury upon his return saw him struggle to get regular minutes in the Jackies rotation throughout the season.

After averaging 18.98 minutes across the 2021-22 season, McDaniel’s time on the floor dropped to 13.88 per game in NBL23 due to a combination of his injury woes as well as having to compete for minutes with development player and the NBL’s Most Improved finalist Sean MacDonald and fellow defensive stopper Matt Kenyon.

McDaniel’s departure will be a major loss from a historic perspective for the Jackies with the former Melbourne United guard the only player on the list born in Tasmania while he also scored the very first points at MyState Bank Arena.

The 27-year-old, who recently re-signed with the Chargers for their upcoming NBL1 South title defence, played 49 games across his two seasons.

In more positive news for the JackJumpers, big man Fabijan Krslovic has re-signed a new two-year deal that will see him remain in Tasmania until at least the 2024/25 season.

“I’m really excited to stay in Tassie and continue to build on the success of the first two years of the JackJumpers” Krslovic said.

“Tasmania is home now and I want to continue to represent the amazing people here, both on the floor and out and about in the community. It’s great to be able to have two years locked away and really strive to bring a Championship to Tassie”.

The NBL’s free agency window opens later this month on March 30 with the JackJumpers yet to re-sign American trio Milton Doyle, Rashard Kelly and co vice-captain Josh Magette.

It is also believed that Tasmanian-born free agent Tanner Krebs is on the club’s radar following his decision to not re-sign with the Brisbane Bullets while Burnie’s Tre Armstrong is also in their sights having finished his college career in America.

Originally published as JackJumpers Sam McDaniel to explore NBL free agency as ‘Fab’ sticks around

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