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The Mike Pero Nelson Giants have secured the services of Nelson Giants captain and legend, Sam Dempster. This will be Dempster’s 14th season wearing the colours of his hometown Giants, with Dempster leading the Club since 2017.

After an excellent 2021 Sal’s NBL campaign, Dempster was the first target for Head Coach Michael Fitchett.

“Sam brings so much passion and dedication to the Giants that he has been my first target to sign since I began coaching here in 2019. We pride ourselves on our local development and Sam is a key part of that. He leads from the front and is still in the top group in all of our fitness testing, despite having 10 years on a lot of our training group.”

Dempster can’t wait for the season to start and has been chomping at the bit since the end of the ’21 season.

“I have been ready to play for a few months now. The league has pushed back 3 weeks which is totally understandable but a little bit frustrating at the same time. I am just keen to get out there. After missing the Showdown in 2020, it took a few rounds to get my rhythm back last year, and I didn’t want the season to end when it did as I was just getting rolling”.

Dempster started all 16 games of the 2021 Sal’s NBL season, averaging 7.3 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game and 1.75 assists per game in just under 29 minutes per game. Coach Fitchett would like to see an upswing in these numbers in 2022.

“Sam can be unselfish to a fault. There were times last year when his leadership and desire to involve his teammates was detrimental to the team. We had to remind him to shoot when he was open. That is not something I have to do very often! His 2.2 offensive rebounds per game was an outstanding number considering he is undersized having moved to the power forward spot full time. I am expecting more of the same in this area”.

While racking up the numbers is nice, Dempster says that he plays for more than that at this stage of his career.

“I want to win a Championship. That is my number 1 goal every season, and with each season I play, my desperation gets a little greater. I still have the support of my wife and boys, and while that is there I will keep going. But I just want to win and want the rest of the boys to get a chance to taste success like that too”.

Dempster has again been sponsored by Rockgas Nelson & Marlborough. The support of our Player Sponsors is integral to the Club’s operations, and we thank Richard and Sarah Inglis and the team at Rockgas for their continued support of the Giants and Sam.

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