Wildcats pair Michael McDaniel (left) and Leon Perdue (right) with coach Jeff Clark.
Wildcats pair Michael McDaniel (left) and Leon Perdue (right) with coach Jeff Clark.

McDaniel, Perdue Wildcats again

MICHAEL McDaniel and Leon Perdue are the first two major signings for this year's Warwick D-League team to play in the Queensland Basketball League.

D-League is the development league of the sport, one level below the Queensland Basketball League in which Warwick player Declan Starasts debuted last season.

McDaniel has been living in Warwick for the past four years but has not had the chance to play for Warwick in the regional league for the past two seasons.

Last year, he played QBL for the Toowoomba Mountaineers team and had decided to retire from representative basketball this year.

When he heard that Warwick was putting a team in the D-League, he was compelled to play one more season to help some of the inexperienced players settle into the higher level competition.

"Mike has so much to pass onto the younger players," coach Jeff Clark said.

"It's great for the team to have him in the squad for their inaugural season."

Perdue last played for the Wildcats in their 2008 regional premiership win.

In that season he proved to be a prolific scorer, with great shooting accuracy from the three-point line.

Clark said Perdue was a similar player to Wildcats 2011 import James Legan.

"But with James not available for the Wildcats due to playing in the QBL for the Toowoomba Mountaineers, it's great to have a pure scorer like Leon in the side".

Perdue has been working in the mines in Western Australia for the past two years and rang Clark, a 2011 Mountaineers assistant coach, to have one last shot at QBL with the Mountaineers.

When he found out Warwick was entering the D-League with Clark as coach, he asked immediately if there was room for him.

"It's unusual for a player of Leon's calibre to pass up QBL for D-League but he is the sort of person who is loyal to a team and wanted to help out his old team-mates," Clark said.

"Mike and Leon wear the Wildcats uniform with pride, these guys are Wildcats through and through.

"We welcome them with open arms. They are just the sort of experienced players that the Wildcats were looking for in our first season in the D-League."

Clark said nine of the 16 players in the Wildcats squad were aged 16 to 21.

"They all played in either reserve or A-grade last season in the regional league,"

Clark plans to add up to two more players to the current squad of 16.

Training for D-League players is from 7pm to 9pm each Thursday.

Twenty players are allowed in D-League squads and 12 can be selected for each game.

In the fixture competition, Warwick has seven home games at WIRAC and seven away games.

Some trial games are planned at WIRAC in March and April before D-League starts in May.

D-League teams

Noosa, Caboolture, Maroochydore, Northside Wizards, Brisbane Capitals, South West Pirates, Southside Spartans, Ipswich Force, Redland Bay, Gold Coast, Runaway Bay, Logan, West Logan, Toowoomba Mountaineers, Warwick Wildcats

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