STAR IMPORT: Ray Willis has arrived from Atlanta, Georgia, with high hopes to take Gladstone to a QBL title.
STAR IMPORT: Ray Willis has arrived from Atlanta, Georgia, with high hopes to take Gladstone to a QBL title. Jake Jones

American adjusting to Gladstone for basketball season

ARRIVING in Gladstone straight from Atlanta, Georgia, Ray Willis is getting his sleeping patterns back in order and helping his body acclimatise to a serious change in temperature.

He is in Gladstone preparing for a Queensland Basketball League season with the Port City Power.

Willis will get used to conditions quickly enough though - the seasoned traveller has come from playing in Israel and Finland.

He has brought one thing with him he wants everyone to know about - an enormous will to win.

"I just want to win," he said.

"I will assist, rebound, whatever we need to win."

The American has something many teams can't get their hands on - size in the guards.

Normal guards in the QBL are between 1.82m (6ft) and 1.93 (6ft 4in), but this Atlanta native is 2m (6ft 7in).

And he wants to play point guard and run the Power team.

But for now he is staying modest, and not telling too much about his play.

His import buddy Justin Baker on the other hand will give up all the details from their time together outside of Tel Aviv in Israel and the stint in Finland.

Willis comes highly recommended by Baker, having averaged nearly a triple double in his latest venture outside of his home country.

It is Baker who raised the idea of coming to Australia, and Willis quickly bought in.

"Why not?" he said.

"I was approached in February; immediately I thought that I was going to head to Australia.

"I was going Down Under."

Willis will teach Power fans and his opposition much about basketball, but needs to learn much about this country.

He will need to, quickly wanting to find a way into the National Basketball League to stay here.

His first goal is to deliver a championship to Gladstone, and then he will worry about the rest.

"We are here to win a championship," Willis said.

"Every day we are training to get better."



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