BAL: Rivers Hoopers Sign American Kaylon Tappin

Nigeria’s representatives at the inaugural Basketball Africa League, Rivers Hoopers have signed American Kaylon Deshaun Tappin for the tournament which tips off in March.

Tappin was a junior college standout at Arkansas State-Mid South in West Memphis, Arkadelphia (AR) in the 2014/2015 season. He also had an outstanding year with Henderson State, an NCAA Division 2 school in, Arkansas.

In his senior season, Tappin was named First Team All-Great American Conference after averaging 18.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.4 APG and 1.5 SPG and had a career-high 34 points against Arkansas Tech.

Since turning pro in 2018, Tappin has played for Nift Al-Janoub in the Iraqi IBL League where he averaged 24.4 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 4.7 APG.

The 6’11” point guard also played for Piratas de Quebradillas in Peurto Rico and most recently Svendborg Rabbits in the Danish Basketball League.

The 23-year old is one of four foreign professionals the team hopes to add to their roster for the Basketball Africa League.

Meanwhile, Rivers Hoopers head coach Ogoh Odaudu is optimistic the new additions will add quality to the team.

“The rule says we can get two Americans and two from Africa that is what we are working on right now. We don’t know how it will turn out if we will succeed in getting everyone that we want or get some and make do with what we have.

“The Americans add a lot of value so we are hoping we are going to get players that are aggressive and would match the foreigners on the other team that’s what we are thinking at the moment.”

Hoopers were drawn alongside Patriots, Ferroviario de Maputo, US Monastir, Forces Armees et Police Basketball (FAP) and Zamalek in the Nile Conference of the BAL.

They face Mozambican League champions Ferroviario de Maputo in their opening game on 21 March in Monastir, Tunisia.

The top four teams from the Nile Conference will advance to the single-elimination playoffs (Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals, third Place Game and Championship Game) scheduled to take place between May 26 and 31 in Kigali, Rwanda.