Basketball: Fresh out of isolation, Canterbury Rams American duo raring to play ball

The National Basketball League's international imports are finally taking to the court this week.  

In February, the league received Government exemptions for 18 foreign players to enter the country as 'essential workers'. 

After completing two weeks of managed isolation, Canterbury Rams' two American recruits have finally tasted freedom, but there's no time spreading too much love.

EJ Singler and Deshon Taylor are straight into practice, with the league beginning in less than two weeks.

Both admit to being a little rusty, but the freedom from their MIQ facility in Christchurch has them raring to play ball.

"Man, it feels good just to breathe some fresh air," Singler tells Newshub. "Get on the court with the guys and meet all the guys and all the coaches."

Adds Taylor: "It felt good to touch a basketball after almost 27 days, because back home, I had to quarantine a little bit, so I didn't catch COVID." 

After spending that much time off the court, you can see why they'd be excited for the start of the season to begin.

Even practicing for the first time was a treat for his new stars, according to coach Mick Downer.

"You know your dog that's in the car when you're driving to the park and the dogs has its head out the window, because they know the park, they're excited, and then they get to the park and run around a million miles an hour," Downer quips. "That's these two." 

More players may be allowed to join the league later in the season.

The new trans-Tasman bubble gives hope Kiwi players in the ANBL can come home to play, when the Australian league finishes.

"Any competitor wants to compete against the best, so I think it'd be great if they could play," Taylor says. 

For now, the new arrivals are just looking forward to playing competitively, when the season begins on April 24.