Londoner Darius Defoe has signed for a fifth consecutive season with Newcastle Eagles as he bids to improve on his incredible haul of BBL medals despite still only being 23-years-old. The forward joined the club in the summer of 2004 from Hackney White Heat and has since been an important part of a rise to prominence, contributing over 9 points and 5 rebounds per game for the Eagles last season.
Newcastle Player-coach Fab Flournoy is pleased that Defoe has decided to stay with the BBL league champions and believes there is plenty more to come from him. “Darius has lots of talent and he has shown that to myself, his team-mates and the fans in the four years he has been with us,” explained the New Yorker.
“Now Darius has to work on showing what he can do on a consistent basis and has to make sure that he keeps working hard and improving with every year.
“He was raw when he came here and very much a project but entering his fifth year he now has every chance of maturing into a big player in this league.
“There is lots more to come from him but that is for the future because he still has some way to go. It is more important that he keeps playing a big part in what we need to achieve as a basketball team.
“Darius has been working alongside Lynard Stewart for the past year and he can now keep doing that for another twelve months. I can’t think of anything better than learning from Nard.
“As a young player you want to be going up against the BBL Player of the Year in practice and to have him as your team-mate in games.
“We are looking strong in the front-court but probably have to add maybe one more big guy onto the roster for me to happy with our depth.”
Defoe becomes the fourth player to return from last year’s title winning squad after Andrew Bridge, Lynard Stewart and Flournoy himself.
With former BBL MVP Trey Moore the only new face to date, the club is now focusing its efforts on bringing in a couple of new players as it prepares for what promises to be a real test in trying to hang on to its league crown.