The Newcastle Eagles have swooped to sign 6'8" PF Kareem Maddox (202-F/C-89, college: Princeton) for the 20012/13 BBL campaign as they prepare to defend all four domestic titles they won last season.
Maddox, a graduate of Ivy League Princeton University, impressed the Newcastle coaching staff at the Basketball Days Tournament in Zwolle, Holland during the Christmas and New Year holiday putting himself on the radar for the future with his high-energy, athletic performances.
With Andy Thomson leaving for France and La Rochelle there was a gap to fill and Head Coach Fabulous Flournoy and Assistant Dave Forrester felt the former Zwolle forward was just the man to step in to Thomson's shoes and fill the gap.
Kareem himself cant wait to get started and gave an exclusive interview to Eurobasket.
"I'm really excited to get out to Newcastle. I've heard a lot of great things about the city and the people, and I played against Newcastle when I was at Zwolle last year, so I know the team is run well."
"I liked Newcastle because of the success that they have had, and after speaking to Fab over the phone I felt comfortable knowing that I would be heading into a good situation."
"I have family outside of London, which was another factor that played into my decision. My mother is half British, so I had a feeling that I would make my way to the UK at some point."
How do you feel signing for such a successful franchise where the levels of expectation are so great?
"Newcastle's success is both daunting and impressive. There are definitely going to be some high expectations in the upcoming year, but that means the target will be on our back so to speak but the pressure to prepare and perform should be a good thing."
What do you think you can bring to The Eagles with your playing style?
"I always try to bring defensive intensity and energy, and provide a spark however I can. My goals are of course to continue to success that Newcastle has had, and to improve as a player as much as possible. I know that Newcastle prides itself on defence as well, which is great for me because I know that I can provide in that area."
Last season was your first as a Professional, how did you get on in Zwolle and how do you think Holland will compare with The BBL in England?
"I had a great experience in Holland last year, although I got hurt midway through the year."
"The BBL has more teams, which is an aspect I like a lot. I can't say how the experiences will compare, but it's a new year with new people so I'm excited for it. I was impressed with Newcastle at Basketball Days, we definitely left with the impression that it was a great organization with good teammates that enjoyed playing together."
"Playing a team like that is always fun."
You had a great career at Princeton and were All-Ivy League 1st Team as well as Defensive Player of the Year in your senior year. What was your college experience like?
"Princeton was great to attend. I chose to go there because of the rich basketball tradition, along with the academics. At first it was tough because we didn't do very well my freshman year basketball-wise, and the school work was non-stop."
"After I got adjusted and learned some crucial time management habits it got a lot easier. We improved every year, and the overall experience got much better. The four years flew by but I wouldn't change anything about them."
"The basketball was intense. There are only 8 teams in the Ivy League, and the winner of the league goes to the NCAA tournament. Each game within our conference was a major battle because everyone knows everyone else really well, so our championship senior year was unbelievably gratifying after all of the work we had put in."
"Princeton was challenging on all fronts but like I said I wouldn't change anything about the experience."
With the signing of Damon Huffman (186-G-85) as well as Maddox The Eagles now have two Ivy League Graduates in their midst so its fair to say they should have a smart team next season on and off court.
Maddox certainly seems to have the hunger, desire and attitude to do well in England and certainly doesnt appear afraid of hard work. Bringing a defensive specialist in to a roster and team that prides itself on those principles seems a good move.
Time will tell but it certainly looks like and exciting and promising signing for The Eagles.
A competitive pool of 22 players will battle it out to represent Great Britain at the U20 European Championship Division B in Greece this summer. There are some particularly prominent returnees from last year's U20 campaign on the initial list which could offer Head Coach, Andreas Kapoulas the benefit of continuity. They include the likes of Jules Dang Akodo, who has been playing professionally in the Slovenia Telemach League, while there is also a spot for Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye who h... [read more]
A competitive pool of 22 players will battle it out to represent Great Britain at the U20 European Championship Division B in Greece this summer.
There are some particularly prominent returnees from last year's U20 campaign on the initial list which could offer Head Coach, Andreas Kapoulas the benefit of continuity.
They include the likes of Jules Dang Akodo, who has been playing professionally in the Slovenia Telemach League, while there is also a spot for Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye who has previously worked with Coach Kapoulas at Bristol Flyers in the British Basketball League (BBL). He comes into the camp off the back of an impressive Freshman year in the States where he top scored and secured All-Team honours in his Conference at Bradley University.
Meanwhile Deane Williams was also on board last year and he recently helped his College side Augusta University reach their Tournament Final, with Pharroh Gordon also excelling and posting a great season at St Rose College.
Of those players searching for a potential GB debut at the U20 level, the exciting Kyle Carey has made people sit up and take notice with Lancashire Spinners. Elsewhere on a list packed with so many talented performers, Andre Arissol of Leicester Riders also led Charnwood College to the Elite Academy Basketball League (EABL) title and Shaquille Walters provided the main thrust behind Peckham Pride conquering the U18s National League Final Four.
The invitees will all attend a preparation camp at the University of Essex in Colchester on 27 June as Coach Kapoulas puts the candidates through their paces. He will be joined by Assistant Coach, James Vear who has fulfilled the same role in recent years - with Josh Merrington also joining the coaching line-up as an Assistant, having worked with Charnwood College and Leicester Riders last season.
Prior to heading to Greece for the FIBA U20 European Championship Division B, the team will compete in a warm-up tournament in Portugal between Friday 01 July and Monday 04 July, when they will also face Sweden and Belarus. They will then step out for further friendlies against host nation Greece and Portugal prior to the start of the U20 tournament in Chalkida.
GB have been pitched into Group C, where they will play Albania (15/07), Ireland (16/07), Kosovo (17/07), Netherlands (19/07) and Greece (20/07) during the first phase.
The 22-player candidate list is as follows:
Andre Arissol - Charnwood College / Leicester Riders (GBR) Harvey Barr - Solent Kestrels (GBR) Moses Byekwaso - Preston College Titans (GBR) Kyle Carey - Myerscough / Lancashire Spinners (GBR) Liam Carpenter - Crailsheim Merlins (GER) Jules Dang Akodo - LTH Castings Skofja Loka (SLO) Malik Eichler - MacDuffie Prep School (USA) Pharroh Gordon - College of St Rose (USA) Sedale Hanson-Young - Cheshire Phoenix (GBR) Selby Hind-Wills - Solent Kestrels (GBR) Boban Jacdonmi - Chattanooga State Community College (USA) Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye - Bradley University (USA) Callum Lawson - Western Wyoming Community College (USA) Fraser Malcolm - Black Hills State University (USA) Sam Newman - Ipswich Basketball Club (GBR) Kingsley Nwagboso - Connors State College (USA) Theo Oghide - Southwest Baptist University (USA) Earl Russell - Western Wyoming Community College (USA) Joshua Steel - University of Duquesne (USA) Shaquille Walters - Peckham Pride (GBR) Deane Williams - Augusta University (USA) Findlay Wood - University of Essex (GBR)
Reading Rockets add Marzette to their roster - May 20, 2016
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Reading Rockets (EBL D1) added to their roster American guard Alex Marzette (196-84kg, college: Robert Morris). He played last summer at Pontiac 66ers (MPBA) in the U.S.. He helped them to win the regular season and make it to the final. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Marzette's college team won GLVC Tournament in 2014. He was also voted All-CCAC 1st Team in 2015. Marzette graduated from Robert Morris College in 2015 and it is his second season as a profes... [read more]
Reading Rockets (EBL D1) added to their roster American guard Alex Marzette (196-84kg, college: Robert Morris). He played last summer at Pontiac 66ers (MPBA) in the U.S.. He helped them to win the regular season and make it to the final. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Marzette's college team won GLVC Tournament in 2014. He was also voted All-CCAC 1st Team in 2015. Marzette graduated from Robert Morris College in 2015 and it is his second season as a professional player.
Manchester Giants are bringing back at least four players from last season's squad. And talks are under way to increase that number. Supporters' player of the year Ingus Bankevics(195-G/F-85, agency: Players Group) will return for the second year of his two-year contract. And player-coach Yorick Williams has moved to re-sign Jerelle Okoro, Barry Webster and Reiss Haggith. Guard Okoro had a breakout year last season forcing himself into the Giants' starting line-up with some energetic,... [read more]
Manchester Giants are bringing back at least four players from last season's squad.
And talks are under way to increase that number.
Supporters' player of the year Ingus Bankevics (195-G/F-85, agency: Players Group) will return for the second year of his two-year contract.
And player-coach Yorick Williams has moved to re-sign Jerelle Okoro, Barry Webster and Reiss Haggith.
Guard Okoro had a breakout year last season forcing himself into the Giants' starting line-up with some energetic, committed displays and typifying the kind of defensive intensity Williams values.
Webster and Haggith both played bit-part roles with Giants chiefs hopeful of further development from the pair.
Williams is currently in talks with senior Giants players from last season's squad while pursuing potential new signings.
Giants CEO John Dwan said: 'We've moved quickly to re-sign these three young players.
'We believe they have the potential to do even better next season.
'Yorick is talking to the other players from last season's group and has already started identifying potential new players.'
The Giants have also been working to expand their youth set-up with recent trials for next season's National League teams drawing around 350 youngsters to Wright Robinson.
'It has been really encouraging,' added Dwan. 'We hope it will mean a bigger and better junior section in the new season.'
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