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Gunners import keen on NBL

Camontae Griffin wants to have an impact for the Gunners.

Camontae Griffin wants to have an impact for the Gunners.

A diminutive point guard from St Mary's College will play for the Canberra Gunners this season. And no, it's not Patrick Mills.

American point guard Camontae Griffin wants to use his stint with the SEABL outfit to eventually join close friend Corin Henry in the NBL.

Griffin and the Sydney Kings star are former teammates at Community College of Baltimore, where Griffin started and Henry warmed the bench.

Given Henry averaged 13 points, three assists and four rebounds a game for Sydney before a wrist injury ended his season, the Gunners are expecting big things from Griffin.

''I played at St Mary's College in southern Maryland. A lot of people get it mixed up with the one in California [which Mills played for] but it's a small division three college,'' Griffin said.

''I'm good friends with Corin and once I told him I had an offer on the table, he was telling me how good it is out there, how good the fans are.

''We're from the same town [Baltimore County] and we work out quite a bit during the off-season.''

Griffin turned down an offer from a Colombian club to be part of the Gunners' planned revival.

They lost 27 straight games last campaign after winning their season opener, but have recruited impressively despite Basketball ACT's limited purse strings.

Griffin will be joined by power forward Jeff Dowdell, who has played 196 games in the NBL, and small forward Daniel Joyce, son of former Wollongong Hawks coach Brendan.

Joyce was drafted into the Kings this season as a replacement for co-captain James Harvey (broken arm) and brings plenty of big-game experience.

Griffin's creative passing and three-point jump shot are two of the major qualities he brings.

Cooma product Dowdell joins the Gunners after bypassing the current NBL season due to ankle and hip surgery.

The 26-year-old wants to use his NBL experience to improve the Gunners' professionalism, and won't be afraid to chip his new teammates if they don't reach that level.

The Gunners and women's side the Canberra Capitals Academy begin their seasons at home against Brisbane on March 16.

The Capitals Academy will be bolstered by Canberra WNBL players Nicole Hunt, Samantha Norwood, Alex Bunton and Tessa Lavey.

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