nick george 568Former GB forward Nick George will make his long-awaited return after being snapped up by Plymouth Raiders to replace the recently released Masse Doumbe.

The 31 year-old has been out of action since his brief stint with Manchester Giants at the beginning of this year and can’t wait to get back to playing.

George said: “I’m really excited. I haven’t played competitively since last season so you can imagine how hungry I am to get back on the court.”

The Mancunian appeared six times for the Giants in the new year averaging 17.5 points per game during the spell which also included a 27 point haul against his new side. Plymouth head-coach Jay Marriott reached out to the experienced veteran to fill the void left by the injured Doumbe and George was pleased with how quickly the deal was sorted.

“They have a good organisation so everything was able to run smoothly with no issues. It all happened so fast,” he said.

The Raiders have been up and down this season, which is reflected in their 7-5 league record but the addition of George will make them contenders for silverware in the second half of the season and the former GB man arrives with success in mind.

“We have a very young but talented team and bringing in a veteran player can push the team the extra mile. I’m hoping that’s what I can do.”

George revealed in the summer that he wanted to finish his career in the UK following successful spells around Europe, most notably, winning the Swiss LNBA Championship with Lugano Tigers in 2011-12. The 6’6″ forward was open to a return to the Giants and had been in talks with the club but nothing came to fruition.

He admitted: “It’s something I definitely wanted to happen, staying local but I didn’t want to rush it or put pressure on the team.”

Manchester’s loss is Plymouth’s gain and George goes straight into the squad for an important double-header this weekend. The Devon-based side were beaten 85-79 by the Riders in last week’s semi-final first leg and now face the tough task of heading to Leicester in hope of reaching the cup final for the third time in five seasons.

George said: “It will be difficult but we just have to stick to the gameplan and hopefully we can get the win.”

Plymouth then host Sheffield on Sunday in what will be George’s home debut for the club as they try to get themselves back in the mix at the top of the table.


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