Georgia Kangaroos advance to playoffs

The Georgia Kangaroos—a semi-pro basketball team based in DeKalb County—finished the 2022 Spring Season of the UBA (Universal Basketball Association) with a 94 – 84 win over the Georgia Vipers on June 5. 

With the win, the Kangaroos improve to 7-3 on the season and became eligible for the playoffs and a league championship. The Kangaroos will play a round one playoff game June 24 or June 25.

The June 5 win was led by Jacksonville State University alum Derek St. Hilaire. Hilaire had 39 points, seven rebounds, and five assists in the win. Kangaroos Head Coach Brian Caswell said the 39-point outing was also Hilaire’s professional basketball debut and added that the standout guard is an NBA prospect.

According to Caswell, Arabia Mountain High School alum Will Taylor also made his Kangaroos debut. Taylor graduated from Arabia Mountain—where he played point guard for the Rams—in 2020; he had six points, three rebounds, and two assists in his first game for the Kangaroos.

Clarkston High School alum Nichaune Jones is the team’s leading scorer.

Other key contributors in the Kangaroos’ season finale were the California duo Dakota Oropeza and Carl Snyder. Oropeza was one of the original members of the Georgia Kangaroos. Caswell said Oropeza “continues to provide leadership and consistency.”

Snyder is in his debut season for the Kangaroos and leads the team with more than 10 rebounds per game while shooting 62 percent from the field and 46 percent from three.

“The Roos have also had big contributions from former colligate standouts Colin Cotter and Gebereal Baitey,” said Caswell. Cotter is another Kangaroo shooting better than 40 percent from three and Baitey is second on the team in scoring at 21 points per game.

Rhondi Hackett—who played professional basketball in Europe and college basketball for Lincoln Memorial College—is also still a key contributor for the Kangaroos.

According to Caswell, the Kangaroos are waiting to learn their opponent and time slot for their round one playoff game. He added that the team can take only six players to the playoffs and that he will announce those players at a date closer to the round one game.

The playoffs will be held at Exchange Park Gym (2771 Columbia Drive, Decatur) with tickets available for $10 at the door. The championship will be held June 26 at the same location.

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