Power lynch-pin re-signs
BASKETBALL: Fresh after the signature of Sunshine Coast Clippers shooting guard Josh Walters, Gladstone Port City Power has all but a surety of Ray Willis putting pen to paper.
It is a massive bonus for a club that is hell-bent to make most of a newly-formed and simplified finals format for season 2017.
Willis, who is currently in the US, is pumped to be a part of an exciting roster.
"This will be my third season,” Willis said.
The athletic and mercurial point guard had a brilliant 2016 campaign for the Power team that finished 10th.
Willis played 15 matches this season and averaged a shade under 25 points.
He started in a blaze of glory with 27, 33, 33, 32 in the first month of the QBL season and his final four games produced similar figures.
And there is more upside in his game.
"During the off-season, I've taken sometime to myself thus far and will also just continue to work on my game,” Willis said.
"I want to improve on the things I could be better at and continue to work on the things I am great at now.”
Power coach Blair Smith said a big box has been ticked in terms of retaining Willis.
"Having Ray back was the priority as not only is he an amazing talent, but is such a high quality person for the club and Gladstone community,” Smith said.
"He makes everyone around him better.
"At the moment he is working helping homeless people back in the US as we sort out his visa. Yes I do think he will take his game to another level.”
That will be because with the development of Remy Lawyer at point guard and the addition of Walters, it will 'free-up' Willis to do his thing.
"We will be able to take a lot of the ball handling duties off Ray and allow him to be a receiver when the defence has moved which will make him even more dangerous on offence,” Smith added.
The depth of the Power's playing roster will deepen with the continued development local talent.
"Dylan Owen and Mitch Knight have been working hard since the season ended and are looking good, so I am hoping they will be able to contribute in a significant way next season,” Smith said.
The coach is unsure when pre-season training will commence, but some of the players are keeping in touch by playing in the local Wednesday night Premier League competition
"Officially we will start in March, but not sure on the date yet and will depend on guys availabilities,” Smith said of the start of the pre-season.