Personality and character will be the key to success for DBL Sheffield Sharks next season, says coach Atiba Lyons.
Four new faces have arrived ahead of the campaign which begins next month. Sharks want to improve on last season’s fourth place, with Lyons wanting silverware as he embarks on his tenth season in charge.
The list of new players includes small forward Ryan Wilson, power forward Robert Marsden, point guard Mackey McKnight and guard Chris Alexander. “They’re all hard working and experienced. I hope the experience will bring us a new focus and maturity” said Lyons.
The capture of McKnight could prove to be a shrewd deal if the American’s playing history is anything to go by. He has played professionally in Greece, Ukraine and most recently Lithuania. Although at first glance these countries seem unlikely to be associated with the sport, their domestic basketball leagues are considered among the strongest in Europe.
“McKnight is a strong point guard who will bring leadership and a passion. That has been missing for a while” said Lyons. The coach also confirmed there will be more new signings, with Sharks able to bring in another overseas player.
The coach revealed the key ingredients he looks for when seeking out new recruits.
“I work with agents, hold private workouts, and run camps and try to find the best candidates. A large part is speaking to them and their attitude and demeanour.”
As well as the new signings, four players from last year have so far been retained - Zach Gachette, Colin Sing, Mike Tuck and Tony Wroblicky.
Lyons highlighted the importance of securing their services for another year.
He said: “I feel its great to have continuity.
“It is important they step up this season as mentors and leaders to help this team achieve silverware. It is a big piece of a puzzle that has been inconsistent throughout the years.”