The Southland Sharks have locked in another player to make a return for the 2014 National Basketball League season.
The Invercargill franchise has confirmed former Australian international Luke Martin has signed on for his third season with the Sharks.
It takes the number to six players who have confirmed they will be back in 2014 to try to defend the New Zealand Basketball League title they won this year.
The others are Kevin Braswell, Brian Conklin, Leon Henry, Rueben Te Rangi and Gareth Dawson.
Veteran guard Martin, who has won two Australian NBL titles with the Sydney Kings, makes up a potent back court with Braswell.
Martin was the skipper of the Sharks in their inaugural season in 2010 and is an important part of the team's leadership group.
"It's great to have Luke back," Sharks general manager Jill Bolger said.
"He's got 12 years of experience at ANBL and NBL level and works hard to organise us on court."
Martin averaged more than seven points and four assists in the 2013 season.
"Our roster is filling up pretty much as we have planned," Bolger said. "We are feeling good about 2014 and looking forward to playing in the new stadium."
Sharks coach Paul Henare is also excited about the signing.
"I'm extremely happy to have Luke back in Sharks colours next year. Luke brings a tremendous amount of experience to the team and that experience shone through when he was instrumental in helping us win our first championship [this year].
"Luke's return along with Braswell, Te Rangi, Henry and Conklin means our core has a very similar look to our championship winning team."
Sharks 2014 season tickets are on sale and will be still available for people to buy from January 6 when the ILT Stadium reopens after the Christmas and New Year break.
Ticket sales for 2014 have already surpassed the 2013 total.
- The Southland Times