The Cheshire Jets are continuing to spend their off season courting NBA superstars and adding to what they hope will be a title-winning team during the 2011/12 season.
The team’s management has been locked in talks with LA Lakers’ $33m NBA star Ron Artest, player tweeted about his desire to play in the UK and specifically for the Jets, during the NBA lockout (“Lockout” is an ongoing dispute between NBA team-owners and the NBA Players Association, who are unable to reach a new collective bargaining agreement over wage structures. As no agreement has been reached, NBA team-owners have “locked out” players from participating in the NBA until an agreement has been reached).
However plans for a visit from Ron In August had to be postponed, after negotiations broke down over insurance.
Jets Director Peter Hawkins said: “The amount of energy and time that Ron has put into this partnership is fantastic, from the outset the deal was purely around his love of the game and promoting basketball in the UK. We are still hoping to make this happen and we are happy to see that through twitter so is he.”
Friday the August 26 marked the day when Ron officially changes his name by deed poll to “Metta World Peace”.
In other Jets news fans were reported to be ‘delighted’ to welcome back Colin O’Reilly to the Northgate Arena. The 26-year-old forward has signed up for the 2011/12 season, and is the second player to be confirmed as a definite in the new roster.
The return of the former UCC Demons star will please fans, who cheered Colin on during a solid second season. He showed real leadership potential on court during the 10/11 season and impressed the Jets coaching staff with his solid work ethic.
Colin said: “When I first re-signed for 2010/11 season Jets management had spoken about the future development of the club and this was something I was excited to be part of.
“After discussions again with them this April their plans had grown bigger for the club, and led to an easy decision to re-sign for this season. I feel it's the right place at the right time in my career.”
The 6ft 7 Irish International was a consistent scorer for the Jets during the 10/11 season averaging around 12.9 points and 6.4 rebounds a game.
Head Coach John Lavery said: “It’s great to secure Colin’s signature for a third season with the Jets. What you get with Colin is someone who is not only an excellent player but a great team leader. Colin is a very intelligent player with a high Basketball IQ, who has proven himself to be able to play at the two, three or four spot on the floor.”
Fans will also be pleased to know that Matt Schneck has put pen to paper for a second season as has rookie American forward Bill Cole.
The 2011/12 season starts again on September 30 with an away trip to the Sheffield Sharks. The Jets play their first home game of the season on Sunday October 2, against local rivals the Mersey Tigers.
The club is still on the look-out for sponsors. For further details contact Jess Forbes: firstname.lastname@example.org
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