SHEFFIELD Sharks plans for the new season, which starts tomorrow, have received a major blow.
American point-guard BJ Jenkins, who was the club’s first signing in the summer, has been refused a visa because of a technicality on the application’s paperwork.
The Sharks have been waiting for the visa to be cleared but were told yesterday that Jenkins’ papers will have to be resubmitted - a process that could last a month.
The Star understands the application was turned down because immigration rules insist an applicant has sufficient funds to live on, when they arrive in the country,
Sharks officials argued that Jenkins will be provided for until receiving his first pay cheque and will also be housed in club accommodation.
Director of the Sharks, Sarah Backovic, said: “We’re very disappointed that BJ’s application has been turned down on a minor technicality. We’ll consider our options after Friday’s match but there is still the possibility that he will be joining us once this is all sorted out.”
Taking Jenkins’ place in the backcourt for the BBL Trophy match at the EIS against Cheshire Jets will be Jimmy Langhurst. New signing Zach Gachette is also likely to see extended minutes.
Langhurst was to the fore during Sharks pre-season win on Sunday over MK Lions and has an impressive pedigree.
A graduate of NCAA division one college Robert Morris, Langhurst is the third generation of his family to excel at sport. His grandad and father were standout performers in American football and basketball at high school and college levels. If Langhurst continues to look the part he may stay with the club.
It also seems as though the Sharks have settled on bringing back Marcus Stout to fill their final permit roster slot.
The Sharks will play the Jets in Chester on Sunday in the Trophy after the BBL re-arranged the fixture.