Former Wisconsin legend Kirk Penney is back in the United States trying to crack an NBA roster for the stretch run. After completing another successful season for the New Zealand Breakers, Penney recently signed with the Sioux Falls Sky Force of the NBA D-League. He is scheduled to make his debut Friday night vs. the Springfield Armor.
After earning back-to-back first-team All-Big Ten honors at Wisconsin, Penney had brief stints with the Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat before spending five seasons playing overseas in Europe and his native country New Zealand.
In signing with the Sky Force, Penney joins former Badgers Greg Stiemsma and Joe Krabbenhoft on the roster. Tanner Bronson also serves as an assistant coach for Sioux Falls.
Sioux Falls coach Tony Fritz told the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader
"We have great leadership on this team, and to add a guy that's
played internationally and can come into a nice role can only benefit
you," Fritz said, adding that Penney's ability to shoot at a high
percentage should open up the offense.
"We need someone who
can really stretch the floor for us, so guys like Greg (Stiemsma), Ray
(Sykes) and (Alexander Johnson) can dominate the middle like they have
Penney on his new home: "This team has already established itself. I'll
just try to fit in where I can and enjoy being on what seems to be a
great team with great guys."
Krabbenhoft, who returned to the Sky Force after playing in Korea, is averaging 12.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Stiemsma, who has started 40 of 41 games, is averaging 8.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and a team-high 3.5 blocks.
Elsewhere in the NBDL, Marcus Landry has been turning heads since being optioned from the Boston Celtics to the Maine Red Claws. In nine games with Maine, Landry is averaging 11.6 points per game, highlighted by a 34-point night that included eight 3-pointers on March 21.
Brian Butch continues to post some of the league's top numbers, averaging 18.0 points and 11.6 rebounds per game for the Bakersfield Jam. In a 120-109 win over the Tulsa 66ers on Thursday, Butch posted game-highs with 33 points and 15 rebounds.
Butch is also keeping his daily blog on BigTenNetwork.com that is worth a read.