Chad McKnight has had a busy summer. On a recent scouting trip to the USA, the Heat Head Coach played against a pocket-sized point-guard from Ohio and knew he had a find on his hands. The result is the Guildford Heat's first new signing of the season. Aaron "LA" Drakeford has had an outstanding college career in the US and is joining the Heat to fulfil his life- long dream of playing professional basketball. The 6'0" guard, who will turn 24 just before the start of the season, is known for his hard work and his ability to run a team.
Chad was full of praise for his new point-guard. "I had the opportunity to play with him this summer and immediately liked his game. He is an excellent passer, has great court vision, and can lock up on defense. I'm looking for big things from Aaron this season."
LA, as he is known, spent the last three years with the University of Rio Grande's Redstorm, leading them to a 20-11 record and their first post-season appearance in four years. He was the only Redstorm player to start all 31 games last season and spent his time playing both point guard and shooting guard. For his career at Rio Grande, LA played in 89 games and scored 638 points (7.2 per game), recorded 247 assists (2.8 per game), pulled down 278 rebounds (3.1 per game) and swiped 105 steals (1.2 per game).
LA saved his best for last, averaging 9.1 points, 3.4 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game in his final season, thus continuing a trend of improving every year. LA is looking forward to continuing his growth as a player for the Heat, where he will be competing for the job of starting point-guard. His coach at Redstorm, Ken French, rates LA as one of the most improved players he has had, citing LA's desire and work ethic as the keys to his success.
"He represents everything that is good about our program," French added. "He may be the most improved player that we have had come through our program in the last three years. Everyone associated with LA should be proud of him, including himself, he deserves this. I am really happy for Aaron. He has worked extremely hard for this opportunity."
LA himself is looking forward to fulfilling his dream of becoming a professional basketball player. Talking to the Heat from the States, he explained that he chose the Heat partly because of the relationship he developed with Head Coach McKnight:
"I feel as if I would be a good fit with the Heat as well as playing for/with Chad. I thank God and my family for supporting me throughout my career, as well as my Rio family and Coach French for backing me through my college years. I look forward to joining the team and working hard to bring a championship to Guildford!"