British forward Darius Defoe is to return to Tyneside for a fourth straight season with the Newcastle Eagles. Despite still being at the relatively tender age of 22, Defoe has won an incredible seven trophies during his time in Newcastle and finished last season as the BBL’s best floor shooter, connecting on 60% of his shots.
The talented Londoner joined the club from Hackney White Heat when he was just 18 years old and despite winning plenty of silverware, Eagles head coach Fab Flournoy has warned there is plenty more to come from Defoe, ‘Darius is still young in basketball terms and he is very definitely a raw talent that still has so much to learn. He is a project in many senses and one that will get better with every season.
‘As with all young players it is very often about finding a level of consistency and last season Darius began showing that he is capable of doing this. If he retains his hunger and works hard then there is plenty more to come from him because believe me, he has got the talent.
‘Darius is capable of going far and we are really encouraged with his progress and it is great for him to have achieved so much so early in his career. However he knows that he still has a long, long way to go if he wants to fulfill his true potential and we are so happy that he wants to continue doing this at our club.’
Defoe averaged 7.4 points per game and 5.8 rebounds last season and the 6ft 9in forward is yet another British player to have committed themselves to the Eagles – something that has delighted Managing Director Paul Blake,
‘It’s great for us to have Darius back for another year because he is one of the best young talents in the BBL and I think his CV to date is evidence of that.
‘He has had three great years with us and is really beginning to emerge as someone who can potentially be a power for us in the league. To have another British talent like him at our club for a fourth successive season is fantastic and it shows that young players can get opportunities at Newcastle and can be a success. ‘Darius will have learnt plenty from playing with veterans like Tony Dorsey and I am sure he will be looking forward to working with Lynard (Stewart) in particular this season.’
Defoe and the Eagles are back in BBL Championship action when they host the Guildford Heat on opening night on Friday 21st September in a game that pits last year’s BBL Championship winners (Heat) against the BBL Championship Playoff winners (Eagles).