BBL LOGO 568Durham’s Devin Ginty is unlikely to return to the BBL next season after receiving offers to become an assistant coach back in the US.

However, the American is not ruling out anything at this stage and still plans to hold talks with the Wildcats upon his return from travelling, next month.

Ginty said: “I would love to keep playing, as basketball has always been my true passion, but I also want to get into coaching so I will just have to find the best opportunity going forward.”

The 24-year-old is currently focussing on rehabilitating his broken foot, sustained during the playoffs in April. The Wildcats made history by reaching the post-season for the first time in three attempts and Ginty spoke of his pride of the achievement.

“I felt very proud to help Durham reach its first playoffs in club history. It was one of our main goals at the beginning of the year, so it feels good to be able to accomplish that for the programme, the fans and the city.”

He added: “It ranks relatively high for moments in my professional career. It’s always a positive when you are able to achieve a goal and help the club move forward.”

Durham finished with a respectable 14-19 record, edging out Plymouth in a three-way tie after defeating Cheshire on the final day to secure their spot in the top eight. It came as a surprise that the likes of Plymouth and Glasgow didn’t make the playoffs with the Wildcats initially expected to miss out once again.

While Durham’s efforts will be seen as a success by many, Ginty believes the team could have done even better this season.

He said: “I think my team-mates and I feel that we could have finished higher in the league and we would have loved to have done better in the playoffs.”

“We may not have been favourites in the eyes of the public (which is always satisfying from an underdog standpoint) but within our team we believed all along that we belonged in the playoffs competing with the top teams in the league.”

“The character of our guys really stood out to overcome many diverse situatons this year and fight to make the playoffs.”

The team battled with injuries throughout the campaign but Lee Davie kept faith with his roster for the season’s entirety. And Ginty was full of his praise for his head-coach.

“Coach Davie did a good job this season. I know it was tough on him being his first year, there is always a lot of pressure, but he was able to successfully manage a group of strong willed players in a way that helped bring our best abilities out on the court.”

“Despite different circumstances, the consistent roster helped reassure players of his faith in them and I think consistency is a great attribute for any team to have, especially over such a long season.”

Ginty himself was one player who suffered from the strain of a strenuous schedule having also played for the University team. His season was curtailed a game early with his aforementioned injury occurring in the first leg against Newcastle.

He said: “I was extremely disappointed to go out with an injury in the first game of the playoffs, but injuries were something our team overcame all season. We had so many talented players that we could always count on someone to step up.”

The California native made his professional debut in Finland last season with division one side Torpan Pojat (now Helsinki Seagulls) having previously played college basketball for the San Diego Toreros in NCAA D1.

And there was a strong American presence within Durham’s roster with Ginty joined by compatriots Kirk Crecco, R.J. Evans and Mike Allison. One strength of the Wildcats this season was that their scoring output was widespread with six players averaging 9+ points per game.

“I loved playing with a team like ours because of the balance,” Ginty said. “It makes it easy as a point guard with so many different options and capable guys. We could count on every player to contribute in some way when they stepped on the court. Our deep roster was one of the main reasons for our success this year and each guy deserves credit.”

Ginty’s leadership was key for the Wildcats and the American had a consistent season, averaging 11.5 ppg along with 4.3 assists. The 6’2″ point guard produced a season-high 28 points against Surrey in October and also recorded a double-double, of 18 points and 10 assists against Birmingham.

Giving his own assesment, he said: “From a personal perspective I always feel like I can do better, but that is probably because I am my harshest crtique. I just try to contribute and give 100% every time I step on the floor and have never been one to dwell on personal stats.”

“Playing in the university league as well as the BBL definitely took a toll on my body this season.”

Ginty isn’t ready to give up on his playing days just yet, but the opportunity to take up a coaching role next season may prove too good to pass up on.

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