Art by Pac
|No. 25 – Hawaii Kahunas|
|Species||Saluki ( Canidae )|
November 25, 1992|
|Listed height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Listed weight||170 lb (77 kg)|
|School||Université Canadienne de la Faune de Montréal|
|FBA draft||2014 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8th overall|
|Selected by the Hawaii Kahunas|
|Pro playing career||2014–present|
|Career highlights and awards|
|2020 Salary||$9 million|
|(IC) Agent||Blake Toivonen (Finnish Forest Reindeer)|
|(OOC) Usage||Ask me before any use|
Early Life in France
Julian was born in a well-off neighbourhood in the center of the city of Cannes, in southern France, on November 25th 1992, son of business power couple Véronique Kiraly and Arnaud Cross. One would think this would inevitably lead for an assured comfortable life and a big future. For the young canine... it wasn't necessarily the case. Friction with his family was an almost daily occurrence for the saluki, between Véronique's controlling and meticulous intrusion over Julian's life and Arnaud's overall aloofness over his eldest son's concerns, Julian vented his frustrations in the means of constant fits of rebellion and brattiness, from skipping school to bullying his younger twin brothers Fabien and Olivier, the rift he caused leaving him to think of himself as the "black sheep" of the Cross-Kiraly household; that "Le Chiot Terrible" that couldn't fit in the family's stringent ways.
But behind the saluki's insubordinate behaviour, there was passion, heart and a desire to shine in his way. In either a coincidence or a big ironic twist, the activities he chose to partake in his defiance he showed extreme natural skill on. Julian discovered his great artistic talent (talent which Veronique deemed "useless" and a "no-future path") which he kept developing behind their back. When his parents mandatorily enrolled their cubs in a sport activity after classes (that being soccer, since it was "the most successful and high-profile one to like in the future"), Julian discovered his second passion as he ditched the classes and joined a group of other furs in the new enthralling activity: Basketball. The clumsiness and awkwardness his tall lanky body trying to control the ball with his footpaws had on the soccer field was nowhere to be seen as he dribbled the orange rock in his paws with ease, impressing his peers with his eager talent and ready-for-court game. The escapades to dwell in this pleasures were constant, alongside the ditching of his parental-dictated responsibilities, which only caused more division and more fights in the household.
As the teenage canine started to enter adulthood, he saw his passions and willingness to continue his path grew tenfold; in part because of the eagerness he had to get his own independence, but mainly it was the refreshingly positive encouragement he found in the unlikely form of other family members, namely his aunt Nicolette Unabia, CEO of a high-end retail store in Montreal, Québec, who usually flew over to France to meet up with her in-laws. Unabia's fervent support over the saluki's endeavors and her insistence to Véronique and Arnaud that he could be successful in they let him them were the fuel to the fire, beginning with a heated argument over the saluki getting a tattoo, and concluding with the reveal of his and Nicolette's undercover plans to get him to enroll overseas in the Université Canadienne de la Faune de Montréal. All the undercover preparations combine with the saluki's newly reached majority of age put Julian's parents in a checkmate. Between gritted fangs, they granted Nicolette and her husband Jean-Paul (staff in the French Consulate in Montréal and big helping hand in his case) the green light, expressing they would wait for their son's "eventual failed return to set him straight finally for once". Julian has expressed that bad-blooded fight was the ever last real contact he had with his direct family.
Move to Canada
The move to Canada was both everything and completely different from what Julian expected. To his surprise, his uncles were very stringent that he had to change and reach certain standards in order for him to stay in the country; mainly getting a job and enroll in extracurricular activities in exchange of helping him fund the first month of his dorm in the university (which he gave away in order to go live with his uncles and help them with their newborn puppy, Céline). The difference between Nicolette and Véronique was clear when his aunt let those standards be fulfilled in whatever Julian desired, encouraging the canine to express himself in his terms. The big change of pace worked wonders for the canine, constantly getting good degrees in his career path (Advertising and PR) and, most importantly, getting a job as an errand boy in the Karmic Kreations tattoo parlor and enrolling in the university's basketball tryouts; his natural talent landing him a role in the team sooner than later. It seemed to go nothing but up in the saluki's way...
...Until cracks started to show. The "Big Talent from France" did not sit well with some members of UCF's team, which created a big division in the normally strongly cohesive and heavily talented team, constantly trying to sabotage the canine and his peers in order to bag more starting time for themselves or try to bring their reputation down. This behaviour reached its boiling point when one day, the saluki's water bottle was laced with vomitives, effectively sidelining him for an important game (it was believed it was Genesis Azocar (Persian Cat), rumored to be the main antagonist in the team and the one who would default start over Cross-Kiraly if he was sidelined for any reason). This behavior ran rampant over the team while Julian was in. But that was nothing compared to the disaster that was about to strike in the canine's life.
In 2013, Julian's aunt, who he considered the best supporter in his life and the one constantly helping his case to stay in the country, was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer, her prognosis being very poor, as it managed to prove inoperable and, as consequence, spread around. This period of time took a heavy toll on the saluki, both emotionally and academically, forfeiting his team's duties for the time being and passing through by barely enough grades to justify his stay. Nicolette Unabia passed away on December 10th, 2013. With little support to extend hi Canadian stay once the end of his studies were near, the defeated return for the saluki to France to his parents seemed a looming reality. The constant in-team fights reached a peak, which got him in trouble for physical altercations, but not long after, life would throw him a curveball he wouldn't have expected.
Despite UCF's initial refusal that year to support or send any player from their lines that year due to the heavy divisions inside the team, the Kiraly's heavy insistence led Jean-Paul (also in behalf of his late wife) and the head coach to offer Julian with a shot to declare his name for the upcoming FBA Draft, which early paperwork showed him he would be accepted if he so chose. This was a new door opened to him, one he was eager to take and, even if it sounded slim, one he accepted right away.
Julian submitted his name in time for the 2014 FBA Draft. It was reported that "he had to be aware his rushed unplanned entry would affect his position, and may not guarantee a high draft number, especially against bigger, better prepared players". But this meant squat for the saluki, seeing it as his only chance to really prove he could make a career out of something he loved once and for all. The canine participated in the 2014 FCIS collegiate Canada cup, managing to bring the Montrealais team to third place.
Using an inheritance "of about 25,000$" left by his aunt on her will for him, Julian traveled to the Huntsville draft events, in which he managed to get an agent in the form of retired EFBL star Blake Toivonen after a scrutinizing round of interviews. Despite his best efforts and consistency, the prediction that the UCF coach had about him were true, as he missed a spot in the coveted Top 24. That didn't deter the canine, as he immediately flew to the "Show Your Colours" camp help by the Hawaii Kahunas and the Alaska Arctics. Despite some initial tensions on his assigned team, the canine managed to pull through, eventually ending his trip on a bang, managing to be the player the Kahunas manager, Wilmer Grehr was impressed by the most. This high end of success lent him to be highlighted on July 8th, 2014 as a featured player on that year's draft pool by Jason Ha:
|Mr. Cross-Kiraly is a fascinating player to watch, both on and off the court. Off the court, he has gathered a small following of people eager to see the tattooed dog slip up or make a mistake over twitter. On the court, despite appearing thin compared to his teammates, he is ready to slip in between the defense, getting the ball exactly where it needs to be. While his defense could use some work, and he is rather fragile, after seeing him play in Hawaii, on a team that his detractors said would cause him to crumble, I can safely state that I believe the dog is ready for the challenges of the big leagues.|
With all said and done and his funds well spent, he returned to Montreal to wait for the big day.
In the 2014 FBA Draft, Julian shocked the league, as the French expatriate saluki was selected by the Hawaii Kahunas on the 8th overall pick, making him one of the highest non-top 24 picks in FBA history and the highest drafted player who didn't figure in on the cusp.
Julian's first season proved to be a constant journey filled with highs and lows. On the positive side, he quickly became friends with rising star, sophomore Scoonie Barrett (who he met in Twitter and later on in real life, striking an immediate friendship) and later on, with the much talked about Alphonse Norwich IV, and letting himself do much well with the court time he was given.
On the negative, it was soon shown the pressure of the big leagues had taken some tolls on the saluki, getting in some trouble with his veterans over his behaviour at first, and escalating to an accident with fellow rookie Aditya Anggun as the All-Star Week was looming. Despite the saluki being voted in for all the events and reaching runner-up in the Dunk Contest, his performances were not up to par; the sombre mood of his missteps following over the week and part of the season, all taking a turn for the worse, when on the February 15th, 2015 game against the Bangor Tides, the saluki had to be dismissed from the game fur to a medical emergency, later revealed to be a case of appendicitis, which the saluki tried to hide its symptoms.
Nevertheless, despite his hardships, he made the most of his rookie year nabbing four POTG nods, the most out of any Kahunas rookie, and helping the team into the playoffs for the first time since their inception.
As longtime friends Barrett and Norwich resigned with Hawaii, and Zack Tate moved from the Arctics to the Kahunas, this season shaped much better for the islanders; the "big four" of Hawaii known in the league circles as the "Odd Squad", completely made a 180 twist on their fate, shaping up to be one of the league's strongest teams. Nabbing the starting guard position and playing with his closest circle of friends invigorated the French canine, who became the best three-point shooter of the team, skills he got to prove on his second appearance on the Three Point Shootout in the 2016 All Star Week, where he finished in the Top 4.
On the off-season, Cross-Kiraly accepted to represent France in the 2016 summer Olympics, reaching the top 8, with his efforts deemed as "the one that kept the dream alive". Following his appearance, the saluki was ranked as the #1 French Basketball player in the local ranks, position which Blanc Mange held for two years straight.
In the Free Agency Period, his efforts came to fruition, as the canine was offered an extension with a guaranteed stay in the Hawaii Kahunas, cementing his future and stardom in the team that started it all, paired up with friends to last a lifetime.
With a new contract and the only one from the wide array of the original Kahuna 2014 rookie generation still in the team, the saluki is set in his team, ready to take responsibilities as a starting guard.
A longtime fan of body modification, Cross-Kiraly sports multiple tattoos and piercings of his own. Listed but not limited to:
- An "I&I" on his right wrist, his first tattoo AKA "the one that sent all to heck"
- A sunflower with lush leaves over his right forearm (revealed to be a tribute to aunt Nicolette Unabia).
- A volcano pattern on his right forearm.
- A sabre across his chest.
- A gothic styled analog clock with his time of birth set on his right hip.
- A full-back piece depicting a phoenix.
- A Hawaiian polynesian pattern on his left shin.
- A chain pattern on his right leg.
- Piercings on his left brow, lower jaw, septum and nipples.
After his draft in 2014, he got his tongue bifurcated, a feature now signature of his, and a fan favorite on the Kahunas' circle, adding to the "bodymod friendly" image the team has inadvertently cultivated over the seasons.
Julian used to work in Karmic Kreations, tattoo shop owned by body modification personality and pioneer Denis Lagrave. The saluki revealed that he intended to turn in a professional tattoo artist (he applied for and got a license), but his plans changed when the canine was admitted into the FBA instead. He has stated that he has done several piercings and one tattoo "under the heavy scrutiny and vigilant eye of his bosses". Karmic Kreations became pretty renowned in the FBA due to his previous employer's admission, with athletic personalities such as Barnaby Jazz, Yves Carbonneau, Tanya Feckle and Kevin Malka sporting mods obtained in the shop.
In mid-2016, the canine signed a contract with clothing store Rebel Circus, a company catering to various alternatives lifestyles, in their efforts to outreach to the mainstream media, seeking spokesfurs who enjoyed the lifestyle yet found success in mainstream jobs. Cross-Kiraly was the only athlete figured in the list alongside various talents like comedian Ronnie Walliams, DJ Femke Van Schoonhoven and ISA staff member Andrea Ramos.
In October 2016, it was revealed that Cross-Kiraly and long-time friend Saskia Rasmussen (Afghan Hound) were in a relationship.
2014 - 2015 Regular Season Stats
2015 - 2016 Regular Season Stats
2016 - 2017 Regular Season Stats