Newcastle Eagles are delighted to announce that they have retained the services of fans favourite “Prince” Charles Smith for the forthcoming 2008/09 BBL season.

Smith, who originally signed for the club almost a decade ago in his rookie professional season having graduated from Rider College will continue in what is his third spell on Tyneside.

Having played during 1999-2000 and also between 2002-2006, Smith will be hoping he has better luck than last season when his campaign was cut short due to an injury that kept him out of action for almost three months.

During the 21 games he did play, Smith was in blistering form and averaged 14.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists.

Eagles coach Fab Flournoy is happy to have one of his trusted players back on board for another season and believes the 32 year old will continue adding value to the BBL title winners.

He said “Charles brings so much experience to the team and he knows this club inside out which does make it easier for us. With his knowledge of our system, the ethos of the team and also the league, he can help the younger guys a lot.”

“We will have the likes of myself, Trey (Moore), Lynard (Stewart) and Bridgey who know the BBL and when you add Charles to that list too – it takes the pressure right off the new guys.

“Offensively Charles gives us an inside and outside option and that is always going to be useful.“ continued Flournoy

“He is a big time player and a veteran of big games when trophies are on the line – hopefully that is something we will need again this year.”

Eagles Managing Director Paul Blake was equally thrilled to get Smith back on board, especially having lost the player to Europe in 2006/07 when he opted to try his luck in Spain with Caja Rioja.

“Charles has a lengthy association with the club and as everyone knows, we enjoy continuity at the Eagles and someone that knows how we work.”

“It is also pleasing to know that one of the biggest favourites the fans have ever had will be back in an Eagles vest again”

“It was definitely frustrating for Charles last year as the injury he picked up stopped him in full flow. Not only that but just when he began returning to fitness, the season was over so I am sure he will be raring to go come the big tip-off next month.”

“His experience and scoring ability is huge for us and he has always delivered if you look at his record over the years. He is a proven BBL player and you have to be pleased when you can add someone like Charles to the roster for another year.”

Further player announcements will be made in the next few weeks.