Mandurah Magic 2019: Old college teammates reunite to help Magic chase playoff berth

Marvin Smith and Shaun Stewart built a strong rapport both on and off the court during their time playing basketball for Cloud County Community College.

The fast-paced duo spent a year running their energetic offence up and down the court for the school, with their connection helping the basketball program reach new heights.

That success, and the bond that helped them build it, are two things the American duo are hoping to bring to Mandurah after signing contracts to play as the team's imports for 2019.

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Stewart, a point guard with a diverse inventory of scoring, will return for his second State Basketball League season with the Magic after piecing together a sparkling debut year in 2018.

They're going to have to bring their best if they want to beat Mandurah

Shaun Stewart's message to opposing teams.

The 24-year-old made an instant impact finishing third in the SBL for points per game going at a clip of almost 26, a feat made more impressive considering the team struggles the Magic faced.

But now, back in a Mandurah uniform and hungry to piece together more wins, Stewart has brought Smith along for the ride in a move he hopes puts the Magic back into the playoffs hunt.

A versatile forward with a knack for making big plays, Smith transferred to division one school South Carolina Upstate after his year playing alongside Stewart, where he and his team broke the school's record for wins in a season and narrowly missed out on an NCAA tournament berth.

Following his college career he signed to play with KB Ylli in Kosovo, and now finds himself touching down in Australia for a season with the Magic.

Smith describes his own game as "all out energy", looking to make plays at crucial moments while being a force at the defensive end.

"That's what I want to bring to Mandurah, that energy and that ability to shift momentum when it matters," he said.

"Whether that's a big rebound, knocking down a big shot or getting a stop on defence, I want to be that guy.

"I pride myself on the work I do at the defensive end and I think those plays really help lift a team, so if I can come in and do my part in that regard I'll be really happy."

The addition of Smith as an import follows the return of local Travis Durnin to the side, who spent 2018 having a breakout year in South West Slammers colours.

Durnin took home the league's most improved player award last year, exploding for 16.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and tallying a stunning 45-point, 18-rebound performance against Kalamunda late in the season.

Travis Durnin will line up for the Magic in 2019. Photo: Bunbury Mail.

Travis Durnin will line up for the Magic in 2019. Photo: Bunbury Mail.

The acquisitions of both Smith and Durnin give the side playoff potential, according to Stewart.

"Getting Travis was big. He's a shooter and you need guys hitting shots if you're going to succeed in this league," he said.

"Then you add in Marvin and all the big plays and defensive stops he's going to get, and you add a year onto the development of our young local guys, and all of a sudden we're a competitive team.

"I think this is the year we stop getting pushed around and make a statement to other teams.

"They're going to have to bring their best if they want to beat Mandurah."

The Magic kick off their season with a double-header of games against Lakeside (away) and Kalamunda (at home) in round one.

The Lakeside game tips off at 8.30pm Friday, March 15, with the Kalamunda game getting under way at 8pm the following day.