Andre to debut for Leopards

Lockhart_Andre_1ESSEX Leopards basketball team will field new guard Andre Lockhart (left) when they host Leicester Warriors at the Brentwood Centre on Sunday, 4pm.

The Barbados-British dual national helped Newcastle Eagles to the runners-up spot in the BBL in 2011, averaging three points and an assist in nine minutes per game off the bench, and has played for Barbados at both under-21 and senior level.

After leaving the Eagles the 6’ 0” guard returned to Barbados where he helped Lumber Company Lakers become national champions, while this season he has played in Germany for BG Biggessee and Giants Duesseldorf before leaving the latter club due to their financial problems.

Leopards beat the January 31 signing deadline to snap up the  27-year-old, although they had to wait until this week for his international clearance from Germany.

Coach Robert Youngblood is excited about his new signing: “I know Andre from his time with Eagles, and I really think he can help us in our push for the league title and play-off trophy.

“We tried to sign him in the summer, so we’re delighted to have picked up now as we head into the second half of the season.”

Leicester will arrive at the Brentwood Centre bottom of the table with a 2-11 record but have improved after the Christmas break following surprise signing of American point guard Sharrad Prezzie-Blue who had previous stared in the BBL with Worcester Wolves.

A strong third period paved the way for Leopards to win 78-60 when the sides met in Leicester in November. Howard Crawford led the way for the Big Cats with 22 points, while Carl Josey, Ronnie Baker and Marvin Isebor each added ten points in a balanced offensive display from the visitors.

Sunday’s game should see player-coach Youngblood return to action after suffering a knee injury in the win at Bradford a month ago, while veteran guard Ronnie Baker should return to the line-up after coaching the win at Westminster due to Youngblood’s suspension.


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