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IBL title lifts Harker for Wolves campaign
6:00pm Monday 3rd August 2009 in Worcester Wolves
EXPERIENCED Worcester Wolves star Skouson Harker is raring to go for the new season after a spell in Canada.
The former Wolves player-coach is hoping to bring his best to the British Basketball League as he passes over his off-court responsibilities to Chuck Evans.
Harker, 32, spent two months in his homeland Canada playing for Edmonton Energy in the International Basketball League (IBL), which also involves semi-pro teams from the USA, China and Japan.
Edmonton were the IBL regular season champions with 17 wins and just three losses.
Harker, a 6ft 8ins power forward, was named IBL all-star in July after averaging 18 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 26.7 minutes of court time per game.
He claimed 31 points and 14 rebounds against Vancouver Titans and a similar tally of baskets against Oregon Wave.
Harker said: “The IBL was a good opportunity to play against good competition and stay in shape for the European season. Playing in Los Angeles was a highlight of the season as they have seven former NBA players on their team.
“It was a lot of fun to be on the same court, playing against guys we have watched in the NBA for years.
“To lose to them in the season opener and bounce back the next night with a hard-fought win was a great experience.”
The league is primarily made up of players who compete in Europe in the main season and use the IBL season to stay in shape.
Its hall of fame is a long list of former and current NBA players.
Harker continued: “Our team had guys who were happy to fill their roles and this turned out to be the deciding factor in our success. No-one cared about who scored or who was the star.
“Coach Steve Sir did a fantastic job in allowing us to express ourselves within the team concept. It was a tremendous learning experience as a player.
“As a result of this togetherness, we won the league and our entire starting five was named in the IBL All-Star team.”
On returning to Worcester, Skouser said: “I am certainly excited to get back to Worcester, to get back to work as a player and to learn coach Evans’ system and style of play.
“The IBL was a great chance for me to get back into strictly playing mode after three seasons as a BBL player/coach.
“I really feel we have the Wolves pointed in the right direction. It is a really exciting time for the club and I am grateful to be part of it.”
Evans said: “Skouson had an impressive season in the IBL. He was able to focus on being a player again.
“He has been working hard this summer in preparation for the season. I think the combination of our three non-EU players will give us a dynamic trio.”