Troy native Joshua Roberts signs pro basketball contract

Published 9:58 am Monday, August 7, 2023

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Troy native Joshua Roberts inked a professional basketball contract this past weekend when he signed with the Cairns Taipans of the National Basketball League (NBL).

The NBL is professional basketball league based in Australia and New Zealand. The Taipans are based in Cairns, Queensland in Australia.

Roberts grew up in Troy and was an All-State athlete at Charles Henderson High School. The 6-foot-9-inch, 220-pound forward averaged 16.2 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks as a senior. After graduation from CHHS, Roberts played prep school basketball at Montverde Academy before earning a scholarship to play at prestigious St. John’s University in New York.

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As a sophomore at St. John’s, Roberts averaged five points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks her game before an injury sidetracked his 2021 season. Roberts then transferred to nearby Manhattan College for his final two seasons of eligibility.

Roberts blossomed at Manhattan College, earning 8.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game as a junior. Then, as a senior, Roberts averaged a career-high 12.2 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game on the way to being named MAAC Defensive Player of the Year and earning All-MAAC honors.

During his Manhattan College career, he set the single-season record with a 70.2 percent field goal percentage. His 90 career blocks also ranks eighth in school history. His career 70 percent shooting percentage also ranks first in school history.

Roberts competed at the 2023 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in Virginia this past spring. In three games, Roberts averaged seven points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. His best performance came in the final game of the tournament, chipping in with 12 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots. During the entire tournament, Roberts shot 67 percent from the field.

“The most appealing part to Josh’s game is he played his role very efficiently in college,” Cairns head coach Adam Forde told “Statistically, he was top 10 in the NCAA for offensive rating. He runs hard with purpose and doesn’t shy away from contact. He always wants to finish above the rim.

“We went through a lot of candidates this season looking for the right fit. During our character checks, one person referred to Josh as having an ‘enthusiastic approach’ to defense. You see this in his ability to defend screens and in support filling the gaps to then close out his man. Josh is another example of a guy who has had to work for everything. Nothing was handed to him, he had to do the grind years, and it’s those years that really builds a young man’s character.”

The NBL opens the 2023 season on Sept. 17. ESPN airs select NBL games.