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Kuol commits to Cairns

09 Jun
4 mins read

The CQUniversity Cairns Taipans are thrilled to officially confirm that elite defender and sharpshooter Bul Kuol will be returning to the club on a new one-year deal and will again suit up in orange for the 2023-24 NBL season. 

Kuol continues to carve out a name for himself representing the Taipans, following two successful seasons with the club. In his record-breaking debut, Kuol surpassed Shane Heal’s 1988 record of made threes (64) by an Australian rookie. 

His first season also featured a club record of eight triples in a game against the Brisbane Bullets, a longstanding record formally held by stalwart Anthony Stewart. 

Last off-season, he went on to represent South Sudan at the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers and was part of their historic 6-0 run Cinderella story. 

The shooting guard then earned workouts with the Bulls and Cavaliers before another consistent campaign in Cairns, reaching the NBL finals against the eventual champions. 

The 26-year-old will now return for his third consecutive season in Far North Queensland, a commitment that Taipans Head Coach Adam Forde reveals was a conscientious one. 

“I appreciate how Bul took his time with this. He wanted to explore his options and see what was available, and we encouraged him to enter that free agency process and ultimately happy that he did. 

“His decision to come back to Cairns as his preferred destination provides us with a lot of confidence about the direction we are going in, and the type of players we want in our organisation, and what characteristics we value,” Forde explained. 

“It’s obviously amazing to get to have Bul back with us for another season, especially for me personally as he’s been one of our most consistent players over my two years here. 

“I’m really excited for him – he’s got another big year ahead. He just finished balling out in France, and he will suit up for South Sudan again in August. Then after all of that, he’s going to roll into our season as one of our most experienced, go-to guys. 

“Let’s not forget how remarkable this actually is – he won Rookie of the Year just 14 months ago.” 

Kuol averaged 10.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists in his first season, before averaging 10.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists throughout his second as he proved himself to be a consistent performer, high-level defender and lethal shooter. 

This off-season, Kuol represented South Sudan again, and helped them become the first team in African basketball history to qualify for the FIBA World Cup in their first attempt. His next stop was France, playing for Le Mans and also reaching the LNB Pro A finals. 

Kuol acknowledged he was heavily targeted during the free agency but made no secret of his desire to return to Cairns. Despite sparking a storm of headlines, the club and his agency saw no rush to formalise with the league having agreed to terms early. 

“As a pro, it’s my responsibility to explore all of my professional options, but Cairns has been and continues to be the best place for me,” he said. 

“I have loved playing for the Taipans – this organisation has done a lot for me, and I have a genuine respect and trust for the person and coach that Forde is. I’m looking forward to getting back to work.” 

Kuol joins Tahjere McCall, Taran Armstrong, Sam Mennenga, Sam Waardenburg, AK Gak, Lat Mayen and Jonah Antonio. The Taipans have one local and two import spots remaining for the 2023-24 season. 

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