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Island Storm sign former Vanderbilt star James Siakam

Photo Credit: The Island Storm Press Release
He brings some stuff to the table that we thought we would be missing this year, so I just feel it will be a good fit right from the get-go.
The Island Storm has added another high-profile player to its roster, signing former Vanderbilt Commodores star James Siakam today.

The 24-year-old small forward, who is the older brother of Toronto Raptors rookie Pascal Siakam, is joining the team after playing five games with the Delaware 87’s in the NBA Development League last season.

Siakam also had a good senior year at Vanderbilt beforehand, averaging 9.2 points per game, 5.9 rebounds per game and 1.2 blocks per game in 2014-15. The Cameroon native was also a freshman when the Commodores won the SEC Championship in 2012.

The last Vanderbilt graduate to play for the franchise was centre Steve Tchiengang during the 2013-14 National Basketball League of Canada season.

"We're very excited to have him," said Joe Salerno, head coach of the Island Storm. "He's coming from a very high-level college program at Vanderbilt ... I really hold that program in high regard."

Salerno said the first time he was aware of Siakam's interest to play in NBL Canada by his agent, who is represented by Life Sports Management. The agent explained he had a high interest in playing in the league.

"He felt that it was a good league and it was very competitive," said Salerno. "He thought it would be an opportunity to continue to improve his game playing against high-level competition. He had heard a lot of good things about the Island Storm. He actually had a pretty specific interest in our franchise."

The Storm have already added a few big names to its team heading into training camp, including former Arizona State star point guard Jahii Carson and four-year Florida Atlantic University star Jackson Trapp. Nick Okorie is also rejoining the team after playing for the London Lightning last season.

Siakam said in a team-issued statement he is thankful for the opportunity the Storm and the NBLC is giving him.

“I want to thank everyone for this opportunity, the coach and the organization,” said Siakam. “I will do the best I possibly can to represent the team well.”

Salerno said that while the team's roles will not be decided until training camp, he feels Siakam is someone who can compete for a significant role on the team. His specific role will depend on how he fits in with the rest of their roster in camp.

"He brings some stuff to the table that we thought we would be missing this year, so I just feel it will be a good fit right from the get-go," said Salerno.

The Island Storm will tip off their season on Dec. 26 against the newly-branded Saint John Riptide.

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