19/04/2024

Luke Travers (Photo: Melbourne United)

Melbourne United’s newest recruit Luke Travers hopes to emulate a similar role to reigning NBL MVP Xavier Cooks for the club this upcoming season.

Moving to the east coast from Perth, the 200cm guard is likely to play as a power forward for the Victorian side. 

He fronted the media speaking about his role, his expectations and what drew him to signing with Melbourne United.

“I think [I’ll be playing] a lot more at the four. Like going from last year Xavier Cooks, his role that he had with Sydney. I think the offense that is built here…a lot goes through there,” Travers said. 

“So to have that and the ball in my hands a little bit more is something that I’m looking forward to and I think Dean’s put the trust in me so it’s good to have.”

Travers stepped onto the practice courts at the United training facility for the first time on Friday and upon first impressions in blue, head coach Dean Vickerman says that there is plenty of upside that they can work with. 

“He looked good in blue,” Vickerman said.

“The shot development [that] we saw [in] the back half of last year [was great] and there’s still some areas that can continue to grow. The size, the body, we’ve checked him out physically, we see some areas of improvement that we can make there.” 

In his fourth season in the competition, the 21-year-old averaged nearly 10 points, six rebounds and three assists in NBL23, leading the Wildcats to the play-in game. He says that still being in his youth, he is grateful for the opportunity to learn off some of the experienced heads in the NBL. 

“Being only 21, I want to learn as much as I can. To be able to learn from [guys like Chris Goulding, Jo Lual-Acuil, Shea Ili, Brad Newley and David Barlow every day, is something I’m looking forward to,” Travers said.  

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The Travers inclusion sets up an exciting front two with the ex-Wildcat and 2021 Sixth Man of the Year Jo Lual-Acuil. Coach Vickerman says that he is excited by the proposition of the two additions standing side by side. 

“Wild thoughts go through your mind about what those two can do together,” Vickerman said. 

“Whether Luke sets a screen for Jo, or Jo setting a screen for Luke and how they can roll and pop, play together and be able to create.” 

In terms of what he wants to achieve during his tenure at Melbourne United, the former Cav has only one thing on his mind.

“I’m just trying to focus on trying to win a championship at United,” the new addition said. 

“That would be a big goal of mine and the challenge of that is exciting.”  

Melbourne United kickstart their NBL24 campaign on September 28, where they will open the season against crosstown rivals South East Melbourne Phoenix in Throwdown XXII.  

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