Former Florida Tech Panther Basketball Player Runako Ziegler Signs Pro Contract with UCD Marian in Ireland
By Christina Hardman, Florida Tech News Bureau // August 27, 2022
Ziegler appeared in 59 games over his 3-year Florida Tech career
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Former men’s basketball player, and recent Florida Tech graduate, Runako Ziegler will begin his professional career after signing a contract with UCD Marian.
UCD Marian Basketball Club is Ireland’s oldest club and has served to promote the sport to south side Dublin since 1968.
UCD Marian competes in the Super League, Ireland’s top division for senior men.
“I’m excited to start my professional basketball career in Dublin, Ireland,” said Ziegler.
“I want to thank Coach Mims for helping me get to this point. This is a once-of-a-lifetime opportunity and I’m grateful to live out my dream!”
Ziegler, who graduated from Florida Tech with a degree in Sport Management this past May, was a three-year member of the men’s basketball team after transferring from School craft College.
“I’m so excited for Nako to receive this opportunity to continue playing basketball as a professional and get to experience another country and new culture in the process,” said Florida Tech head coach Billy Mims. “Dublin is such an exciting city full of history with plenty of things to see and do.
“UCD Marian is a historic club in the Super League with a rich tradition of success. My friendships at their club go back many years, and it’s an honor to have one of our Florida Tech alumni now playing for them.
“I know Nako will be surrounded by good people there and will be an excellent fit for their club on the court and in the local community. UCD Marian fans will love his speed, explosive style of play, and defensive toughness.”
Ziegler appeared in 59 games over his three-year Florida Tech career including making 44 starts.
He finished with career averages of 12.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game while shooting 47.3% from the field, 26.7% from beyond the arc, and 70.4% from the free throw line.
His best season as a Panther came in 2021-22 when he started all 25 games and averaged 14 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.4 steals per game.
That season, Ziegler recorded double-figures in 19 games, including six games with at least 21 points. He also recorded a triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists against Notre Dame College on Dec. 19, 2021.
UCD Marian has yet to release its 2022-22 game schedule but Conor Meany, UCD Marian Club Manager, is excited for Ziegler to begin his professional career with the team.
“We are really excited to welcome Nako to Dublin to play for us at UCD Marian,” Meany stated.
“We were looking to find a guard capable of being a leader on both ends of the floor and someone with a great personality that can engage the young players in our community.
“Nako has a skill set that will do well in Europe and having known Coach Mims for many years we trust we are getting a high-character player. Florida Tech has had a number of graduates in recent years go on to make a positive impact in Europe, and we hope that Nako will be the next in a long line of Tech graduates to do so.”
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