Sheffield Sharks player-coach Atiba Lyons has revealed that he is closing in on a deal for American point guard BJ Jenkins with Nate Reinking also a potential recruit.

The rookie playcaller Jenkins, who is coming out of Murray State University, averaged 11 points and 3 assists in his senior year but caught Lyons’ eye on a scouting mission earlier this summer. With Marcus Stout also understood to be in advanced talks over a return, Jenkins’ arrival would raise questions over the future of incumbent backcourt starters Ryan Patton and Steve Dagostino.

However Lyons is confident that Jenkins will be coming to Yorkshire.

“We’re in talks,” he told Radio Sheffield. “More or less, he should be in the Sharks programme next year.”

The Sharks chief has also revealed he has made an approach to Great Britain guard Reinking about a second stint with the club. “It’s a possibility,” he confirmed.

Sheffield have agreed a new one-year deal with long-serving club captain Adrian Anderson.


Ojo to land in Plymouth

Plymouth Raiders have signed American-born guard-forward Michael Ojo out of Lehigh University in NCAA Division 1 who holds British nationality

Ojo averaged 11 points and 4 rebounds a game in 2010/11, while averaging 40% from the three-point line and 77.5% from the free throw line.

“I’m pleased to have signed Michael,” said Raiders head coach Gavin Love. “He will give us athleticism, someone who can shoot the ball very well, and someone who is able to penetrate and create off of the dribble.

“It’s always tough for a first year player to make a big impact in the BBL, but his athleticism will certainly help him, and he’ll give us that outside scoring threat that we so badly need to allow us to spread the floor. We faced some stiff competition from a team in the Cyprus first division to get Michael, but now he is signed, I’m looking forward to him getting here.”


Leicester clued up on Hardy boy

Leicester Riders have signed rookie forward Ayron Hardy out of Jacksonville University.

The 22 year old was born in Birmingham, Alabama and played all four years at Jacksonville, averaging 12 points and over 6 rebounds a game, in the Atlantic Sun Conference. He also shot 53% from the floor, with an average of 2 steals and 1 block a game.

Hardy was also named the Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year, as well as to the first team All Conference, a clear indication Riders have gained a top quality player at both ends of the court.

“I am really excited to bring Ayron to Leicester, because he is a top player,” Riders head coach Rob Paternostro said. “He has a slew of accolades to his name, including most games played in the University’s history, second all time in career steals at the university, and seventh all time in rebounds.

“But to make the Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Year for 2 years says something special. He is of course a very young player who will need to settle in and adjust to the BBL, but he brings a lot of capabilities to the table, and, in particular, his versatility.”

A deal has also been done to sign American guard John Griffin, who played in Germany’s B Division after graduating from Bucknell University in 2007.

He will form a new-look backcourt with fellow arrival Cameron Rundles.

“Growing up in the basketball world of Philadelphia, I feel like I have an extra level of confidence and an extra edge and that’s something I will always carry with me,” said Griffin. “But aside from my attitude on the court, skill-set wise my strength is in shooting in the ball.”


Lions opt for Northern exposure

Milton Keynes Lions have added 6’9” American power forward Daniel Northern to their roster for the new season.

A graduate of Tennessee Tech, the 25-year-old was a key figure at both ends, he averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds per game.

Following graduation in 2008, Northern’s first pro experience was in LEB Gold in Spain where he averaged 8 points and 6 rebounds per outing. Most recently Northern was in the EBA in Spain after stints in Uruguay and Finland.

“I think that Daniel is tailor made to do well in this league,” said Lions coach Mike New. “He is very athletic, he rebounds extremely well, he has been the defensive anchor on every team that he has played on and he can score without having to run plays for him.

“He is every coach’s dream. He is motivated by rebounding which is rare these days and he changes ends of the floor effortlessly. I am very excited to have Daniel and I am looking for big things from him. “

The Lions have confirmed two pre-season friendlies: on August 18, they will face Stony Brook University from New York and on August 27, they meet St Joe’s University who have former Hemel Royals favourite, John Wassenbergh in their coaching ranks.


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