Newcastle Eagles have tempted Charles Smith to put off retirement and return for an eighth season.

The veteran forward is the Eagles all-time leading scorer with over 5,000 points in his illustrious career.

Last season Smith was voted into the all BBL first team by the league’s coaches having averaged 21 points and six rebounds per game and shooting 40% from the three point line.

Smith, who had considered quitting this summer, first joined the Eagles in 1999 and, barring a season in Spain and a short lived association with the Scottish Rocks, he has been an Eagles regular ever since.

“We are delighted to have Charles back for another year,” coach Fab Flournoy said. “He knows the league backwards and can score in a variety of ways. Due to injuries and illnesses we really had to rely on him last season and he did not let us down at any stage.

“He was the only player on our squad to play over 1000 minutes last year and I hope with the squad we are putting together this year that we will be able to keep him fresh through the whole season.”

Ealier this week, Newcastle signed 25 year-old ex-GB Under 20 international Joel Madourie. The 6 foot 5 forward played the last two seasons for the Derby Trailblazers of EBL Division 1.


Raiders take time to Read

Plymouth Raiders have signed shooting guard Ryan Read, an American with an Italian passport.

Read averaged 35% from the 3 point line in Spain’s LEB Silver League last year, where he also averaged 11.3 points per game for Adreilu Santurtzi.

“It’s great to have Ryan on board, he had a very solid year In Spain’s LEB Silver having many outstanding performances,” said coach Gavin Love.

“Ryan is a good shooter with great range and works very hard at the defensive end. I know he will be a good addition to our team, the fans can look forward to seeing Ryan together with the rest of the Raiders on the 11th when we play USA Select.”

Lions bring in Crawford, Dobbins a Shark?

Milton Keynes Lions have signed 6’9″ power forward Howard Crawford from University of Alabama-Birmingham. Meanwhile Sheffield Sharks are set to sign Justin Dobbins from Worcester Wolves.

Bell tolls as Jets move for Brown

New Cheshire Jets coach John Lavery has moved to replace last season’s league MVP Jeremy Bell with the signing of 6’4” guard Adam Brown, a rookie out of the University of Houston.

In his senior year, Brown finished as the team’s second-leading scorer with an average of 12.6 points per game, and 4th in the entire league in 3 point goal percentage at 42.3%.

“At 6’4″ he’ll be one of the taller guards in our league,” said Lavery. “He has a great outside game, but with his height he has the capability to go inside as well. He will bring with him a tireless work ethic, precision passing and perimeter shooting, lockdown defence and a high basketball IQ.”

Maio bound for Plymouth

Plymouth Raiders have announced the signing of Belgian Sebastien Maio, a 6’3” shooting guard/small forward, who played last season in the top Czech Republic league for Brno.

Maio has a playing resume that includes teams in Pro B in France and Germany’s Pro A league, Real Madrid’s 2nd team in Spain’s LEB Silver and BBC Monthey in Switzerland.

“It’s going to be great to have someone with Sebastien’s experience on the team,” said coach Gavin Love. “He’s played in some very tough leagues around Europe and will bring us maturity and versatility as he can play the point guard, shooting guard and the small forward position.”

Riders take Anderson

Leicester Riders have signed former GB Under-20 international Jamell Anderson from Essex Pirates. Essex have however re-sign Colin Sing and Zach Gachette.

Heat ask for More Martell

Guildford Heat have re-signed Martelle McLemore to the BBL team for the 2011-2012 season. The 23-year-old American guard/forward joined the team last season and is the first player signing to be announced for the new team.

“Bringing Martelle back to the team this season helps with our continuity,” said coach Creon Raftopoulos. “He has already shown that we can count on him on offence and that he was great at shutting down the opposition’s best players. I feel that if he is given more of a scoring role this season, he will be able to deliver.”

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