Kyle DoddEssex Pirates have added to their frontcourt for the forthcoming 2009/10 BBL season with the signing of 6ft 11in Kyle Dodd.

The former Great Britain U20 player arrives in Southend having recently graduated from Eastern Michigan and head coach Tim Lewis can't wait to start working with his new recruit.

"We are very happy to have signed Kyle as he is a player that I have admired for some time. He is a fantastic prospect with a host of attributes that we feel will be a great fit for what we are trying to build."

"He is really athletic, rebounds pretty well, plays long and can block shots. He has a real upside to his game."

"After three years in the NCAA playing pro-basketball will give him a new challenge and he is the kind of kid that will thrive on that."

"I am comfortable that we can help him realise his potential and I can't wait to start working with him."

Having now signed two young players, Lewis also took the opportunity to underline the strategy for Essex moving forward claiming he isn't willing to compromise on his ethos of building a team with British or European players.

"We are committed to recruiting hungry young British or European players and while we will try to add experience where necessary, it isn't easy to do that with limited budgets."

"Signing up an experienced British player comes at a cost and in year one of any franchise you have to be mindful of that."

"I just don't see the situation where we will be bringing in American imports for the sake of it. I am really confident that in time, we can get a balanced group of guys playing fun basketball that can take us forward."