Mike CookSheffield Sharks have gone back to the Steel City for their latest signing.

However, it's not the South Yorkshire version but the Pennsylvania one across The Pond with former Pittsburgh Panthers star Mike Cook joining the club and adding real class to Atiba Lyons team.

Cook, aged 25, was a starter at the University of Pittsburgh, which is regularly a top ten ranked college and is a fixture in the NCAA end of season tournament, before an injury prematurely ended his 2007/08 season.

Sharks player-coach Atiba Lyons said he was delighted to have agreed a deal with Cook.

"Mike is an excellent player who arrives here in Sheffield with a great pedigree in college basketball. He was a leader on a very good Pittsburgh team and was very highly thought of by his team mates and coach there.

"He will be a very important player for us this season and I'm confident he will gel well with the guys we've brought back and the other new signings."

Cook, who is originally from Philadelphia, began his college career at East Caroline in the Conference USA where he was named to the All-Freshman team in 2004.

After two seasons he transferred to Pittsburgh where he sat out the 2005/06 season due to NCAA transfer rules. However, on his return he started all 37 games at the small forward position averaging 10.3 points and 5 rebounds in the ultra competitive Big East conference.

Sharks director said Cook will be an exciting signing for the club's supporters: "Recruiting a highly respected player from the Big East is a real boost for the Sharks.

"We're very pleased that Mike will be in a Sharks vest next season as we believe he will prove to be a very popular player on and off the court."

Cook is likely to act as the focal point of the Sharks offence alongside the returning Matt Gorman and new signing Ryan Patton.

Source: www.bbl.org.uk