By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv has signed Australian guard-forward Joe Ingles (26, 6’8”) to a two year contract.
Ingles, a highly versatile, left handed guard-forward who for the last three years played for FC Barcelona, is the first Australian ever to play for Maccabi. Tall for his position, he is a great mid-range and three point shooter who excels at the pick and roll and is a tough defensive player. Ingles is a hard-working team player who has benefited from four years playing in the strong Spanish League (he also spent one year with CB Granada) and has ample Euroleague experience.
Ingles played for three years in the Australian League, starting in 2006-07 when he signed with the Melbourne South Dragons. He averaged 14.5 points, 5 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game in his time there. In his first game as a professional he made history in the Australian NBL by scoring 29 points (11 of 15 from the field) – the most points ever scored by an Australian in his debut. He finished his first season as Rookie of the Year (a title earned a year later by Nathan Jawai), and in 2009 led the Dragons to the Australian Championship.
In the summer of 2009 Ingles made the move to Europe, signing with Spanish team CB Granada where he played alongside Richard Hendrix. He adjusted quickly to the best league on the continent, averaging 11 points and 4 rebounds. A month and a half after the start of the 2010-11 season, which he started in Granada, Ingles’ career took a huge jump forward when he was signed by FC Barcelona to replace the injured Gianluca Basile.
In the first of his three seasons with the club, Ingles averaged 6 points and 2.1 rebounds in 20 minutes of playing time in the Euroleague, with 50% shooting from two point range, 39.4% from outside the arc and 78.6% from the foul line.
Last season in the Spanish League, his numbers were 6.3 points and 2.2 rebounds. Ingles exceled in the fifth and last game of the Spanish League finals, scoring 25 points (5 of 8 from three point range) and pulling down 6 rebounds, but Real Madrid won the series three games to two and claimed the title. In his years with Barcelona, Ingles won two championships (2011 and 2012) and twice claimed the prestigious Copa del Rey (2011 and 2013). He also played in two Euroleague Final Fours.
Ingles is a fixture and one of the biggest stars on the Australian National Team. In the 2012 London Olympics he averaged 15 points, 5 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. Australia faced all three of the teams that went on to medal in those Olympics – the U.S., Spain and Russia – and finished in seventh place. Ingles also played with the Australian National Team in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, in the 2010 World Championships, and in the 2009 and 2011 FIBA Oceania Championships.
Ingles played six times against Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv during his time with Barcelona, which was victorious in all of the meetings. When Barcelona and Ingles came to Nokia Arena during the Top 16, he played one of his best games in the Euroleague, with 18 index points, 13 points and 9 rebounds.
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv’s head coach David Blatt: “We are very pleased to bring Joe Ingles to Maccabi. He is a super-versatile player who can play several positions, handle the ball, score from three point range and who is an expert at the pick and roll. He has an exceptional ability to drive to the basket thanks to his long strides and finishing capability. He was excellent for the Australian National Team in the last Olympics when he played against the best players in the world. Ingles is an impressive player who has yet to reach his peak. I am sure he will blossom with us in Maccabi, and will really fire up the fans.”