Marc Steutel insists Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles have landed a proven winner with versatility to burn after bolstering one of British basketball’s most talked about back courts.
Former G Leaguer Devin Whitfield will contest the guard spots alongside Larry Austin Jr, Rickey McGill and Jordan Johnson.
And Steutel can’t wait to see how his stacked roster shapes up from September given the addition of the former Memphis Hustle star.
“I’m really thrilled that we’ve got Devin with us for the next season,” said Newcastle’s playcaller.
“He’s an exciting player who’s extremely versatile and can contribute in so many ways.
“He’s coming off a really good season in Denmark where he proved his level of consistency and demonstrated that versatility week in, week out.”
Whitfield moved to the Memphis Grizzlies’ G League affiliate in 2021 following a storied college career with the Trevecca Nazarene Trojans.
But a mid-season switch from the Hustle to Scandinavia allowed the explosive guard to find his feet in the professional game.
Whitfield’s European adventure got off to the ideal start as he capped a short stint in the Finnish second division with a perfect seven wins from seven.
The electric guard averaged 27 points, eight rebounds and three assists per game for Tapiolan Hanka to net an efficiency rating of 30.
And those eye-watering stats earned Whitfield a move to the Danish top flight ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.
The 26-year-old heads to Tyneside on the back of a 14-16 record with Svendborg Rabbits where he averaged 18 points, five boards and three assists in the starting five.
And Steutel believes the time is right for Whitfield to dip his toes into the British game and make his mark in the European North Basketball League (ENBL).
“Devin’s a player who’s really hungry to prove himself in the BBL and the ENBL,” added the Eagles and Great Britain head coach.
“Outside of his skillset I was really impressed with his attitude and his willingness to contribute to winning in any which way he can.
“I think the Eagles fans will be excited to see how hard Devin plays and the winning attitude he’ll bring to the team.”
Steutel still needs to add the final few pieces to his Newcastle jigsaw with one further key signing expected next week.
But the Eagles have done their business early and effectively as they bid to restore their reputation as the premier franchise in the domestic game.
The most successful club in the history of the British Basketball League is desperate to add to its haul of 27 major titles after back-to-back winless campaigns.
And Steutel has built a team with success in mind after leading Newcastle back into the playoffs towards the end of last season.
“We know what we’re going to face in terms of competing at home and abroad this season but it’s a challenge we relish,” he added.
“I’ve moved to bring in players hungry for success and with proven track records as we prepare for an exciting chapter in franchise history.”
Fixtures for the forthcoming British Basketball League tip-offs are expected to land in the coming weeks and season tickets for the new campaign are still available from the box office.