The South West Slammers men’s team signed Manyiel Wugol earlier this month — a high-octane big who is potent from beyond the arc. However Wugol, 24, is likely to offer more than highlight plays for the Slammernation family. Aside from on-court hustle, his life experience is likely to strike a chord with teammates. “I come from South Sudan — but I spent the first few years of my life in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, as my family fled the civil war that was happening at the time,” he said. “We moved to Perth once we were granted our visas. “Growing up in a family of nine kids and a single mother, life wasn’t so easy and I was forced to grow up faster than most kids. “Whether that was babysitting my little sisters or cooking and cleaning around the house, we all had a role to play. “When I was 16, I started playing basketball and shortly after in 2017 I was awarded a full scholarship to go play prep school in the US, which was the start of a six-year journey.” Although several teams were keen to secure his services both here and abroad, Wugol’s first conversation with Slammers men’s coach Shane Goff was all it took to don the red, white and blue. “What really intrigued me about the Slammers organisation was the opportunity to come in immediately into a leadership role and fully showcase my game,” Wugol said. “Also playing for coach Goff. “He is a player’s coach and I know he takes cares of his guys.” The prospect of Wugol and import Buay Tuach combining together this season is a prospect all Slammers fans are yearning for, given the men’s program’s limited on-court success over several years. Wugol knows it won’t be easy and doesn’t plan on cutting any corners. “The most important basketball intangible for me is hard work,” he said. “No matter the skill level or age, work ethic is a must-have. Communication is another important intangible — it’s very important to be always talking and on the same page as your teammates. “And lastly effort, you can’t control whether or not you’re making shots but you can always control your effort and giving 100 per cent is a must.” When not on-court, the 24-year-old is likely to have his head in a book, spending time with family or volunteering in the community.