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Sam Waardenburg: The New Taipans Leader

The Cairns Taipans have made a decisive move for their NBL25 campaign, securing Sam Waardenburg on a fresh one-year deal. Yet, with Tahjere McCall’s departure, the team faces a new challenge: a leadership gap. Waardenburg isn’t shying away from the responsibility, ready to take charge alongside teammate Jonah Antonio.


  • Sam Waardenburg re-signs with Cairns Taipans for NBL25.
  • Leadership shift as Waardenburg aims to fill McCall’s shoes.
  • Off-season focus on personal development and shooting prowess.

“We’ve had guys this last couple of years like Tahj who have been those vocal leaders for us, so now with him gone, I’m going to have to step up – me and Jonah (Antonio) – we’re now the oldest guys on the team,” Waardenburg said

Ditching the usual off-season moves, Waardenburg is sticking around in Cairns, dedicating his time to refine his game under the guidance of head coach Adam Forde. After a dip in his stats from a stellar rookie season, he’s pinpointing areas for improvement, with shooting topping the list.

A Vision for Victory

Waardenburg’s commitment to the Taipans extends beyond personal growth. With Coach Forde’s strategic vision for the team, the goal is clear: playoffs and the pursuit of a championship title for Cairns.

“We’re working on a lot of stuff for the upcoming season where Fordey has his vision for how he wants this team to play and where I am in that, so there’s a lot of that. I’ve enjoyed and had great trust with Fordey the last couple of years, so another year, another crack and getting to the Playoffs and winning a championship to bring the first one to Cairns, that’s something that’s exciting and enticing to a player like me.”

With Waardenburg’s laser focus on development and a leadership role in his grasp, the Taipans might just have the edge they need for a successful NBL25 season.

Read more on the Taipan’s NBL25 campaign HERE

Read more NBL News HERE

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