- HESSON, VAN OOSTRUM SIDELINED
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HUFFOR HOPING TO BUILD UP ROCKS
- Updated: June 17, 2014
The American-born guard spent last season with the Rocks’ league rivals Durham Wildcats, helping lead the North-East club to the playoffs for the first time in their short BBL history, but is now targeting silverware upon his return to Scotland.
“I’m hoping I can lead Glasgow back to winning ways and get some silverware,” Huffor told MVP. “I wanted to come back to where it started for me and it was the right situation for me at this point. Sterl and I are on the same page and we just want to win games.”
Huffor finished the season as Durham’s leading points scorer with an average of 15.3 per game admitted it was a ‘tough decision’ to turn down the club’s offer to extend his stay.
“I was looking to play in Greece in the A2 league and had a few others from BBL teams including Durham. I respect Lee (Davie) a lot and know he’s going to be a good coach in this league.
“I enjoyed my time playing in Durham, especially with Ralph Bucci as he’s one of the most intelligent players I have played with. Making the playoffs was huge as it gives the club a better name and a lot more respect around the league. Durham have the right people there to make it another successful BBL team.”
After helping Durham to a breakthrough season, Huffor believes he can aid Glasgow’s reversal of fortunes after a disappointing campaign. The Rocks reached the final of the BBL Trophy, but their inconsistent league form proved costly as they fell short in the race for the play-offs, culminating in a tenth place finish.
He said: “I feel that Sterl is one of the best coaches in the BBL so I was surprised in that aspect. But I led Durham to their first play-off appearance and their first ever cup win so I feel I can lead Glasgow back to the top and back in the playoffs.
“Sterl knows how to bring in other good players so if we can play as a team we can go far. It’s important that we are all on the same page because if we’re not then it could be another up and down year.”
The LA native is not unfamiliar with highs and lows himself, having torn his ACL when representing Scotland at the European Championships in the summer of 2012. Huffor had just come off the back of an impressive rookie season with the Rocks before sustaining the injury which would keep him sidelined for the entire 2012/13 season.
As with any serious injury, the road to recovery is tough and even returning to action was a gradual process. The 27-year-old grew stronger into his role with Durham as the season progressed and Huffor was pleased with how things panned out.
“My knee was getting better throughout the season and Lee (Davie) helped me a lot by starting off slow then as the season went on I was able to play more minutes. In the middle to end of season I was playing really good basketball and I’m looking forward to coming back and being 100 percent.”
He added: “It was just a blessing to be back on the court. Being injured is one of the toughest things to have to go through as a player. All I did when I was out was watch basketball, going to the University of Miami to watch their practices and games.”
Having been given his first professional opportunity by Sterling Davis, it is no surprise that Huffor holds the long-serving Rocks play-caller in high regard. The chance to link up again was another important factor with the desire to win paramount for both men.
“I just want to win everything,” he said. “I can’t stand losing and I know Sterl can’t either so we will be working hard from the first day of training camp to the last day of the season – hopefully the Championship game. I want to be a leader on this team and I’ll play hard every night, leaving it all on the court.”
Despite the early temptation of a move across Europe, Huffor will be playing in the BBL for a third time and he believes the league is on the rise.
He concluded: “I think the BBL has a good thing going. The league gets better and better each year and it’s good knowing that each game is a challenge.
“Basketball is getting very popular in the UK and that has a lot to do with the BBL. It was disappointing to see funding cut when it’s such a huge sport around the world.
“I’m also excited that they have the WBBL now, which I think is really good.”
Huffor is the first player to be confirmed on the Rocks roster for the 2014-15 season while EJ Harrison is said to have retired.