NEWCASTLE CONFIRM CHAPMAN DEAL

Newcastle Eagles have re-signed Joe Chapman to a new one-year deal as they seek to re-build for the new campaign.

The American guard missed the end of last season through injury but has been rehabbing at his home in Chicago.

With Charles Smith seemingly destined for retirement, and a ban hovering over Trey Moore should be return to the BBL, club chiefs moved swiftly to ensure Chapman is back on Tyneside.

“My post season rehabilitation has gone very well and I am really looking forward to getting back into things,” he said. “We need to get back to winning ways and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’m hearing that we will have some tough competition again this year. I’m also hearing that Lakers Ron Artest might be coming to the UK. I might have to give my old friend Dwyane Wade a call and see what he’s doing in September!”

Eagles chairman Paul Blake will now turn to other plans. He said:  “Our other priority is to replace Charles after signing Joe. Darius (Defoe) we’ve yet to sit down with and we’re trying to persuade Ross Wilson to stay on for another year.”

The other major re-shuffle will likely see Andrew Bridge accept a management role overseeing the club’s development programme, in addition to his on-court duties.

Bridge could get technical

The England cap, Blake admits, will be offered a job akin to a technical director in Newcastle.

“We want to see if that will give him a long-term role beyond his playing days that takes advantage of his skills,” he confirmed.

“It would also see him do his coaching badges and be more hands-on off the court.”

Blake also confirmed that Fab Flournoy has agreed a new deal to stay on as player-coach – even though he hasn’t yet signed on the dotted line.

The New Yorker, in his tenth year at the club, was given the green light to accept opportunities elsewhere if the right opening arose but has opted to continue his dual role.

“At some point, he’ll get an offer and we’ll wish him well,” Blake said. “But he still wants to play. I want him to coach but if that’s what it takes to keep him here, then so be it.

“I’d like to get to the point where we have a coach who solely coaches but we’re loyal to Fab.”

Lions, Leicester advance plans

Milton Keynes Lions have re-signed England international guard Stefan Gill on a one-year deal.

Gill, 27, averaged 13.4 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists in his rookie campaign.

Lions’ head coach Mike New said: “I am delighted to return Stefan, we knew about him and his athletic ability but this past season he really stepped up at the top level, after a slow start a couple of 40 point performances showed he was at this level offensively, now he is just maturing and will become a premier player.”

 

Leicester Riders have agreed a fresh deal with Tom Sherlock. The 29-year-old forward joined the club last summer, spending the season primarily in a reserve role.

 

 

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