Sharks captain Mike Tuck is relishing the heavy workload after deciding to combine studying for a Masters degree with basketball.
Canadian Tuck, aged 30, who also holds a British passport and made his England debut during the summer, is known for his industry on the court but is now having to find new energy off it.
He said: “I’m scraping the rust off with trying to learn again but it’s fun. I don’t have as much free time as I used to have that’s for sure!”
As well as studying Sports Business Management at Sheffield Hallam, Tuck has also joined the university’s basketball first team alongside fellow Sharks players Nick Lewis, Zach Gachette, Colin Sing and George Brownell.
And while his first priority is the Sharks he says he’s enjoying the extra action.
“We have been bumped up to the Premier Division this season so the standard is good with a few BBL calibre teams,” he said. “It allows me to get more shots up and there’s more training so it is good for my fitness.”
Tuck has been his usual consistent self to start the season.
His form has been one of the main reasons the Sharks have won four and lost just one of their five matches so far.
With a blank fixture list last week it’ll be almost a fortnight since Sharks’ last game when they welcome an much-improved Durham Wildcats to the English Institute of Sport on Friday evening.
Tuck said the players can’t wait to get back into action: “We had the weekend off and the guys have been saying in practice this week about how long it seemed to drag on for without a game.
“We worked hard in practice last week - it was very competitive. This season we’ve have a big squad which is great to keep everyone fighting for their place.
“The intensity is really high every day.”