Marc Steutel has challenged rising stars Sam Mamuini and Sauveur Kande to capitalise on a breakout summer as competition for court times intensifies.
Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles have built one of the deepest and most talented rosters in franchise history during a busy period of close-season recruitment.
But head coach Steutel insists Academy graduates Mamuini and Kande can make their mark alongside a slew of experienced senior pros.
“I’m a coach who’s always focused on youth development whether that’s been with Great Britain or at Northumbria University,” he said.
“Ensuring that Sam and Sauveur continue to develop within our club pathway remains a priority and I will give them every opportunity to realise their potential.
“Both of them have enjoyed an excellent summer. They’ve worked hard every day to put themselves in a position where they can really contribute to the group.
“They are a massively important part of the team and we’ll really benefit from what they bring to practice on a daily basis.
“I believe both of them can take a big step forward this season, learning from talented players with a wealth of experience.
“It will be exciting to see just how far they’ve come and how far they can go.”
Both Mamuini and Kande already boast experience of British Basketball’s top flight and join Darius Defoe as returning Eagles this season.
20-year-old guard Mamuini made four Regular Season appearances during the 2022/23 campaign following his Newcastle debut the previous year.
And three of those outings came against title winners London with the 6ft star trusted with key minutes against the star-studded Lions.
Kande returns to the Eagles fold following a stint with Newcastle University in the second tier of UK hoops.
The 6ft 4in wing represented the NBL Division One side 10 times last season as he gained invaluable experience away from the Vertu Motors Arena.
“It’s hugely important that we encourage homegrown talent to progress through the club’s pathway right through to senior level,” added Steutel.
“I want that opportunity to be there for our younger players and both Sam and Sauveur have proved that hard work pays off.”
Fellow Eagles Academy graduate Josh Moore, who made appearance in the men’s team last season, is locked-in to a full season with the club’s NBL Division 1 feeder team at Newcastle University.
“Josh has to lock into a team based on Basketball England regulations due to his age. We wish Josh the best of luck with Team Newcastle’s season and will be monitoring his progress”, Steutel added.
Tickets for this Sunday’s opening pre-season clash against NBL Division 1 side Derby Trailblazers are available from the box office.