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NBA ace Exum invests in NBL's new Phoenix

Sydney Kings

Australian NBA star Dante Exum has joined the ownership group of the NBL's newest team, the South East Melbourne Phoenix.

Exum, who was born and grew up in Melbourne, is enetring his sixth year in the NBA with the Utah Jazz after he was selected with the No.5 pick in the 2014 draft.

The 24-year-old guard said it was an honour to invest in the fledging NBL side.

"Melbourne has played a key role in my basketball journey and the chance to be involved in the ownership group of the SEM Phoenix is a perfect way to further that strong connection with the city," Exum said.

"I look forward to seeing the continued growth of the NBL and much success and excitement for the team and the city of Melbourne."

Exum joins former NBA players Zach Randolph, Al Harrington, and Josh Childress to have bought a stake in the Phoenix, who are majority owned by Los Angeles-based entrepreneur Romie Chaudhari.

The Phoenix launch their NBL season in the derby against Melbourne United on October 3 with Boomers swingman Mitch Creek their marquee man after he elected to put his NBA dreams on hold.

Exum was one of 13 Australians playing NBA last season, along with the likes of Philadelphia's Ben Simmons, his Jazz teammate Joe Ingles and NBA champions Andrew Bogut, Matthew Dellavedova, Patty Mills and Aron Baynes.

However, Exum endured an injury-riddled 2018-19 NBA with ankle and knee injuries restricting him to just 42 games.

He averaged 6.9 points, 1.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game, with his season highlight coming in a 20-point performance against Simmons and the 76ers in December.