The Franklin Bulls will make it "take two" with Auckland star forward, Matt Freeman, returning to the Bulls for the remainder of the 2023 SalsNBL season.
6'10 Freeman was with the franchise for the first SalsNBL home season in 2021, but sat out due to injury. Matt was with the team for the season, but never took the court. Instead helping out as part of the support staff and spent time mentoring some of the younger players.
This will be Matt's first time suiting up in the SalsNBL, having not played in New Zealand professionally before. While it's his first New Zealand NBL Season, he's no rookie to the professional game. Matt has played in Germany for the past three years as a starting Power Forward. This season, starting for Eisbaren Bremerhaven, averaging nearly ten points, 5 rebounds, a couple of assists and shooting above 40% from beyond the arc.
Since 2016, Matt has been making it big in the US, most notably playing for the Oklahoma Sooners, where he spent some of that time playing along side NBA star Trae Young. During this time Freeman brought his Sooners Squad to Auckland to compete against a New Zealand select team, which not only featured Freeman and Young, but also current Bulls players Dom Kelman-Poto and former Bull Nick Barrow. Sooners winning 133-91.
Head Coach, Daniel Sokolovsky knows what Matt will add coming into the squad for the remainder of the 2023 season.
"Being able to add a player of Matt’s caliber to our team at this juncture of the season is a major win for the club, in every aspect.
Matt is a consummate professional that already understands, and lives the values of the Franklin Bulls organisation. He is joining us in peak form, coming off of a very competitive season in the rigorous German ProA. His size, skill, IQ, and defensive grit will be seamless to integrate, and of massive value to our group."
GM of basketball Mika Vukona knows Matt's value and will soon have a complete squad heading into the second half of the season, especially if Tyrell Harrison returns from Injury in the later rounds.
"This is a great signing for us and to have Matt come back home this early in the campaign is huge. He’s come off a tough playoff series in Germany and now having that experience the last couple of years and the opportunity to play back in Nz for him as well as working with coach Dan is a great get for us.
Freeman is set to join the team soon and he knows how special playing at home will be.
"I’m very excited to get the work started with the bulls. Being able to play on home soil in front of people I know and love is always a special opportunity."
"Coach Daniel and the team have started the season strong and shown how formidable this Bulls unit is. They’re a hard working group that I can’t wait to be a part of. Im looking forward to contributing all that I can to their continuing success. " Adds Freeman
Bulls play the Nelson Giants on Sunday at 6pom at the Franklin Pool and Leisure Centre in Pukekohe (MAY 28) tip off at 6pm.