Teams hoping to rejuvenate their squads in the trade period don’t always get their recruitment right with new players failing to live up to expectations, writes Harry Hamling.
However at Sheffield Sharks, the new additions appear to be doing exactly that. American duo point guard Jerrold Brooks and forward TJ Robinson have been setting the BBL alight since their arrival in the UK.
Brooks, who joined Sharks in July, was raised in New York. He attended Southern Miss University where he averaged 11 points and three assists per game. In Brooks’ first game for Sharks, a defeat to Newcastle Eagles, he put up an impressive score of 17 points and six rebounds.
He has become a fan favourite for his determined style. Constant point scoring, assists and rebounds have seen him in the BBL All Star Five three times in his first 11 games. His powerful runs and three pointers inject energy into the side.
Brooks was joined in the second week of the BBL season by another new arrival, six foot eight forward Antone Robinson. “TJ”, 26, is now one of the most experienced players in Sharks’ side. He began the 2014/15 season playing for Heidelberg, Germany where he played five games and averaged three points and two rebounds a game. He moved to Deportivo Estela Santander in Spain, playing 20 games.
His first Sharks’ appearance was off the bench, where he put up 10 points and nine rebounds, however his best performance was at Glasgow Rocks in week six of the BBL. Robinson put up 23 points and 19 rebounds to break into the All Star Five, which he then did for three straight weeks.
His height, rebound presence and dominant slam dunks makes him almost unplayable when he is on form and his points have led Sharks to multiple wins, something coach Atiba Lyons will be eager to see more of this season. Sharks visit Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday.