Reigning BBL champions Newcastle Eagles are thrilled to have clinched the services of forward Darius Defoe for a sixth consecutive season.
Still only 24 years old, the Londoner already has a BBL medal haul topping double figures and will line up alongside fellow returnees Andrew Bridge and Lynard Stewart when the 2009-10 season tips off next month.
Defoe averaged 10.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game last season to showcase his productivity and efficiency while according to player-coach Fab Flournoy, the best is yet to come.
"Darius has been a project for us since day one when he came back in 2004. He has worked hard at his game and has been a fundamental part of our success."
"He was very raw when he first arrived but he is still learning each day and with every season is becoming more accomplished in what he does."
"He still has some way to go yet and can be an even better player for us in this league."
"Darius had to step up last season when Lynard (Stewart) was injured and it is because of players like him that we were able to cope without an All Star player and MVP like Lynard. Not many clubs could have done that."
"Darius is the third player we have brought back and the continuity is definitely good for me as a coach."
Eagles Managing Director Paul Blake added,
"I think that Darius has given us terrific value during his time at the club and everyone knows that he loves it in Newcastle and really feels at home."
"The fans appreciate the contribution that Darius makes and when you think about the number of minutes he plays, it is quite an achievement to average double figures in the league."
"I think it is the first time he has managed it and he has shown an improvement each year which bodes well for us in 09/10"
"Perhaps he is underrated elsewhere but certainly not by anyone at our club including our fans who I know will be really happy to have Darius back."