Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
James excited by new Wolves
HEAD coach Paul James can’t wait to work with his new-look Worcester Wolves squad ahead of the British Basketball League season.
There are just 10 days to go before the opening match against Durham Wildcats at the University of Worcester on Saturday, September 22, and the team is taking shape.
Lithuanian 6ft 11ins centre Arturas Masiulis has become the latest player to sign up, joining fellow new recruits forwards Stan Ocitti and Alex Owumi and the returning Sherrad Prezzie-Blue, Carlos Fernandez and Arnas Kazlauskas.
James, who has seen American duo Richie Gordon and Tommy Freeman leave the club, along with Callum Jones and David Watts, also has the option of integrating some of the university’s English Basketball League talent.
“I really like what I have seen, we are going to be a big team and a bit older and experienced,” he said. “I just can’t wait to have a look at what we have got here. I am happy with the way things are coming together.
“We have had some issues with permits and getting players in on time so we are still waiting for Sherrad and Alex to arrive but everybody else is here and we have started practice.”
Masiulis is no stranger to James having played against his Guildford Heat team in European competitions earlier in his career and the Wolves coach was keen to get the 32-year-old on board.
Worcester are bidding to repeat their success of last season which saw them finish third in the BBL Championship before losing in the play-off quarter-finals to Cheshire Jets.
James said: “He’s a smart, intelligent player, very big and powerful and I think he will be good for the team.
“Arturas came over to Guildford when he played for Siauliai and gave my guys all sorts of match-up problems. Aside from that, he has played at a high level in European competitions throughout his career.
“It’s great that the success we are having at the Wolves is now attracting this calibre of player to the city.”
Masiulis has a host of Baltic teams on his CV, including Pieno Zvaigzdes, a former club of countryman Kazlauskas.
In his last season in Lithuania, with Kedainiai, he averaged 13 points a game as well as pulling down an average of five rebounds.