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Versatile American joins the Leopards
11:44am Thursday 5th September 2013 in Local Sport
BASKETBALL: Leopards have added American guard Kris Clark to their 2013/14 roster ahead of Friday’s pre-season opener against Team USA Select at the Brentwood Centre.
The 6ft 2ins guard played alongside Leopards’ player-coach Robert Youngblood at MK Lions in the 2011/12 season, averaging 11.2 points, 5.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds in the BBL Championship before playing in Australia last year.
“Kris is an excellent signing for us” said coach Youngblood, “I think he’ll make a real difference for us.
“He can score well if we need him to, but he can also control the game well.”
Clark joins fellow American big man Howard Crawford and English forward Siman Stewart as the new faces for the Big Cats, with captain Carl Josey, 7ft tall centre Lawrence Brown and guard Ishmael Fontaine also confirmed as returnees for Youngblood’s men.
The Leopards’ play-caller will be using the pre-season games to look at other players as the Big Cats aim to add to their trophy collection that has seen them lift all four pieces of England Basketball silverware in the last two seasons.
Friday’s game at the Brentwood Centre tips-off at 8pm, with tickets available on the door.
The USA team are a touring organisation for players looking to get a job in Europe.
They have been coming over from the States for many years now and this season sees them travel with 36 players, who will be split into three sides and have a heavy schedule – with the side Leopards are set to face moving to Hemel tomorrow for the second of seven games in as many days.
They will then play in a two-day tournament in Ireland, before returning to England to play another four games.
Leopards had two exciting games against Team USA Select last season, losing 93-88 against their B team at Capital City Academy, before winning 92-88 against the A team at Crystal Palace the following evening.
That was the first win for the Big Cats against Team USA, having lost the previous four encounters.
Josey is looking forward to captaining the Big Cats this season.
He said: “Once I had re-signed for this year, I worked closely in helping coach Youngblood with the team and giving advice where I could.
“We have some new faces, some of which I have played with or against before, and each one of them is bringing a unique skill set to our team.”
He added: “My focus is to make sure we take a step closer in becoming more professional on and off the court and represent the Leopard brand well.
“Our goal this year is to be a high-paced, high-energy and entertaining team, which prides itself on defence that our fans can take pride in supporting.
“I am excited for this season to begin and I look forward to meeting you all throughout this season.”
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