Newcastle Eagles are delighted to welcome back shooting guard Joe Chapman for a third consecutive season on Tyneside.

Having had his season cruelly cut short last year due to a ruptured achilles in a February game against Cheshire Jets the native of Chicago was especially keen to return for a further crack at the BBL. Chapman, who played in the NCAA final four for Marquette University alongside Dwyane Wade as well as professionally in Mexico and the Czech Republic, was the Basketball Journalists player of the season in his first year and followed that pace with a strong second season in which he averaged 19.8 ppg until his February injury. A crowd favourite, as much for his hustle plays as his offensive range, the signing is sure to be popular with the Eagles fans.

More than anything though it is Chapman’s strong work ethic and leadership capabilities which have resonated with coach Fab Flournoy: “Joe was extremely enthusiastic to return and I was delighted to have him. I think we both feel like we have unfinished business from last year. He really stepped up his defensive game last season and became a leader in our locker room. He stayed in Newcastle to rehab his injury and was ultra professional, at one stage he was even in the gym shooting with a surgical boot on.

“He has had to deal with adversity throughout his career and has always come back stronger. I have no doubt that he will rebound once more from last years setback and be a key player for us again. His basketball IQ is extremely high and everyone knows that we value continuity extremely highly at this club”.

Flournoy confirmed that Chapman’s signing provided him with great flexibility moving forward with his roster: “With his ball handling and size Joe can play and defend positions 1-3 in the BBL. This really opens up our options when considering further recruitment moves”.

Chapman is keen to get back to club duties and put last season’s disappointments behind him: “My post season rehabilitation has gone very well and I am really looking forward to getting back into things. We need to get back to winning ways and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’m hearing that we will have some tough competition again this year. I’m also hearing that Lakers Ron Artest might be coming to the UK ! I might have to give my old friend Dwayne Wade a call and see what he’s doing in September.”

(Via the Newcastle Eagles Basketball Club)