Showtime has arrived

Happy to be here: Gippsland United import Brandon Armstrong will join the team following a more than 100-game NBA career. photograph liam durkin



GIPPSLAND United has welcomed a major signing ahead of its inaugural season, with American import Brandon Armstrong joining the squad.
The new kids on the block are set to benefit from having Armstrong in the line-up as Gippsland United looks to make its way in the Big V competition.
Those looking after marketing at Gippsland United must also be excited about the prospect of having someone as famous as Armstrong now part of the club.
If ever a club wanted to raise its profile, Armstrong would be the man to do it – he has 1.5 million Instagram followers and just as many on Facebook.
His on court impersonations of NBA players on YouTube have gained widespread attention, with a number of videos attracting more than 10 million views – some even by the players being mimicked.
Armstrong has enjoyed a storied career in his own right, playing in the NBA-D League (now G
League) as well as stints in Spain and Australia respectively.
The larger-than-life Armstrong has already dived into the local basketball scene, and was courtside to see Traralgon win the recent Country Basketball League grand final, coached by the man who helped bring him out to Australia in Reece Hamriding.
“I’m excited to be here, my agent Reece said it’s the team for me, I hadn’t played ball in Australia for three years so I’m super excited,” he said.
“Last time I was here was for Melbourne Uni, but I’m super excited to be here in Traralgon just because it’s more of a family community, Melbourne Uni was just a university so we really didn’t have that many people at the games, it was very empty, here it is a community, everybody knows everyone.
“I like it, everyone is nice, I feel like I’ve already been here that’s how accepted I feel.”
While on court results are yet to materialise, Gippsland United shouldn’t have any problem creating an inclusive and enjoyable environment thanks to Armstrong’s effervescent and upbeat personality.
Sporting an infectious smile and using a range of somewhat forgotten slang words, it is clear the new recruit can hardly contain his excitement about lining up as point guard for Gippsland United.
“Heck-yeah, first time they’ve had a team so I’m super excited and appreciate them for giving me an opportunity to show my skills,” he said.
“The facility (Gippsland Regional Indoor Sports Stadium) is dope, second to none man! Looking forward to playing in the arena.
“Basketball culture in Australia is super-sick, I mean it is super-dope, it is what everyone knows – basketball.”
When asked if he had rubbed shoulders with any players of note, Armstrong pointed to a few.
“I’m really good friends with Andre Drummond, Steph Curry is one of my good friends, Spencer Denwiddie, James Harden, I can go down the line, but mostly Andre Drummond and Torrey Craig,” he said.
“My advice would be to keep playing, stay in the gym, keep your encouragement up and just
work hard.
“You see guys like Josh Giddey, Ben Simmons, Dante Exum, Patty Mills from Australia get a chance, there is plenty of opportunities. America is definitely looking for Australian hopefuls.”
As it prepares to make its debut in Big V, Gippsland United will be hoping Armstrong, along
with women’s import Mackenzie Miller, will be able to help forge a new era of basketball in the region.
If talking was a contest Armstrong would take some beating, but with the season now on the horizon, the new recruit will be eager to show that actions do indeed speak louder than words.