AFL club North Melbourne have decided to take a two-year punt on an American college basketballer. Eric Wallace, 24, has impressed enough in a 10-day trial to earn a contract with the Kangaroos.
He has been signed as an international rookie list player.
Coach Brad Scott said Wallace’s work ethic and athletic ability suggested he was worth taking a chance on.
“Eric has worked extremely hard and proved to us he’s willing to do whatever it takes to play AFL football,” Scott said.
“The ovation he received from the playing group when we announced his signing was evidence of how highly regarded Eric already is at our club and the way he has fitted in so easily.
“He still has a lot to learn about the game but his passion for Aussie rules is already very strong and his athletic ability is outstanding.”
Wallace, from North Carolina, stands 196cm and weighs 102kg, and was part of the AFL Draft Combine in October.
“I have a long way to go. I’m the first to admit that but I’m growing fonder of this game every day,” Wallace said.
Wallace, who had stints playing basketball at three US colleges including Seattle University, will start training with the Kangaroos full-time in early January.