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Brisbane Bullets poised to resign US import Stephen Holt

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BRISBANE continue to stockpile their arsenal for the 2018-19 season with US import Stephen Holt set to rejoin the Bullets and NBL legend Sam Mackinnon beefing-up his coaching role.

After claiming the last two wooden spoons, Brisbane left no stone unturned in the free agency period signing four Boomers — Cameron Bairstow, Cam Gliddon, Jason Cadee and Matt Hodgson — and five-time NBL title winner Mika Vukona.

The considerable reloading effort is also poised to net Holt who had an indifferent year for the Bullets last season with 10 points, three rebounds and one assist per game.

Holt was a genuine star for Melbourne United in the 2015-16 season when he was point guard for the star-studded powerhouse.

Currently playing in Poland, Holt would return to a point guard role coming off the bench for Brisbane compared to the shooting guard/small forward position he played last season with fellow American Travis Trice running the point.

Holt was used more as a defensive stopper and a shooter and slasher from the wing but should flourish if he returns as a ball distributor leading the second unit.

Brisbane have a limited budget for the back-up point guard role with the vacant import spot at small forward set to command a greater slice of the salary cap.

But Holt and his partner enjoyed living in south east Queensland as well as the Bullets’ culture which will aid in his return.

Meanwhile, Mackinnon will boost his coaching role as Brisbane pump more resources into their off-court operations.

The two-time NBL championship winner and dual Olympian was a part-time assistant coach last season when he was on the sidelines for home games and a regular presence at training.

Mackinnon — who was Bullets captain in the 2006-07 championship-winning campaign when he also won the MVP, grand final MVP and Defensive Player of the Year gongs — will also go on the road next season and be at all training sessions when he can pass on his priceless experience to the squad.

Mackinnon is relishing the prospect of getting more hands on.

“It gives me the ability to liaise more with the group. After training and on the road is when you get to know people and get that sense of where everyone is at so you know what buttons you can push,’’ he said.

“Andrej (Lemanis) sees the value in what I do and how we can tap into my experience. Whether it’s before, during or after the game I can tap a player on the shoulder and have that honest chat with them.

“We are taking that next step (off the court) and expanding things which is going to make us a better club. That’s why we’ve recruited the players, we’re recruited and will help us retain players and help us win and make some noise this season.’’

Highly-rated assistant coach Mick Downer will also be the Head of High Performance and Development. Downer will not travel with the team all the time but will still be heavily involved in day-to-day coaching, opposition scouting, running the club’s development program and be on the bench for all home games in a bolstered overall role.

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