Sharks snap up Pirates stars

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ONE club’s misfortune may be another’s gain as the Sharks look to add to their roster ahead of the new season.

Perennial whipping boys of the BBL, the Essex Pirates, have decided to call it a day after sponsors withdrew their funding for the team.

The Pirates joined the BBL in 2009 with the aim of developing young players through a partnership with the University of Essex but struggled to remain competitive on the court.

However, the Sharks are set to step in to offer two of the Pirates brightest talents - Colin Sing and Zach Gachette - a chance to study at Sheffield Hallam University and be part of the Sharks senior set up.

Player-coach Atiba Lyons said: “It’s unfortunate for the league that Essex won’t be there next season because I liked the way they did things.

“Colin and Zach will be studying at Sheffield Hallam and training with us as well as playing for the university.

“We’re putting in a structure here at the Sharks to work closely with Sheffield Hallam to create something similar to how players come through in America.”

Sing is a 6’7” small forward who has been part of the Great Britain programme at under 23 level. Gachette is a shooting guard who can also play as a point guard.

n Sheffield-born Great Britain international Devon Van Oostrum, aged 18, has been loaned to Spanish second division team Tarragona from his parent club Caja Laboral.

The former Silverdale school student came through the ranks of the Junior Sharks and was the second youngest player at the recent EuroBasket tournament in Lithuania.