|December 20, 2019||7:30 pm||BBL Championship||2019-20|
CJ Gettys finally gets to experience the red hot atmosphere of a Newcastle Eagles match night as the BBL returns to Tyneside this weekend.
And the towering centre revealed his long-awaited home debut is long overdue – four weeks after he inked a deal to play in black and white.
Gettys marked his league debut with a destructive double double of 24 points and 12 rebounds at Plymouth earlier this month.
But ahead tonight’s clash against Manchester Giants the 7ft American admitted: “My homecourt debut has been a long time coming.
“For the rest of the guys it’s nice to be back home. For me it’s just nice to be at home!
“It’s a chance to build a winning streak in the league and get back to business.”
Gettys is loving life on Tyneside and has become a big hit with team-mates and fans alike.
And although the former Cheshire favourite has been forced to wait for his first homecourt start he added that behind the scenes it’s been time well spent.
“Not having too many games in my first few weeks at the club has worked out well,” he added.
“As a new player the more time you can spend on court with your team-mates and build that chemistry the better.
“We’ve had plenty of time to work together and build ourselves up heading into a busy period.”
Gettys is in fantastic shape following time spent trying out with Indiana Pacers NBA G-League side Fort Wayne Mad Ants earlier this year.
And he is relishing being part of a club that remains focused on building a proactive and professional environment for the long term.
“The environment I’m in now is definitely more organised and professional compared to what I’ve been used to in the BBL before,” he added.
“There are so many benefits associated with the club having its own arena. As players we can come in and shoot anytime we like.
“We sit down for a meal together after practice every day – the food is great and it’s good to spend some time together off court.”
Interim head coach Ian MacLeod is still without Rodney Glasgow Jr as the Home Office processes the guard’s application for a UK passport.
And benchman Sauveur Kande is unavailable after earning a call-up to England’s Under 18 squad for this weekend’s Tri Nations tournament in Manchester.
“It’s great to see Sauveur making his mark at that level,” said MacLeod, who has been pivotal in helping to plot the teenager’s rise from talented junior to BBL star.
“He’ll be playing against Wales and Scotland and it’s the first step towards selection for Great Britain’s junior teams.
“Everyone is aware of Rod’s ongoing situation but the rest of the guys are fit and well and we’re all looking forward to a first home game in five weeks.”
Tonight’s clash tips off at 7.30pm and a limited number of tickets are still available.