Cheshire Jets’ longest serving player James Hamilton has been named as the franchise’s new player-coach.
Hamilton, who spent 20 years in the BBL as a player, will take up his first professional coaching role with the Jets ahead of the coming season.
He said the team have a difficult challenge given the circumstances during the off season, and has asked for patience from the Jets’ supporters.
He said: “The situation that we are in, as a team, is a difficult one, given the circumstances that have been widely reported. Since taking up the position, I was given the task of recruiting players in less than a week. In doing so, I haven’t had much sleep, but I’ve spoken with coaches and players everywhere, here and abroad, pulling in every favour, to find the very best I can.
“For the supporters, who we are doing this for most of all, all we can ask of is for patience. For many of these guys, it will be their first time playing out of college, admittedly not for a lot of money, but it is a good chance for them and need all the support that can be given; from us as a team and fans as well.”
Hamilton’s decision to come out of retirement comes because of what he says is the love of the game, and his commitment to the Jets after several years with the franchise.
He said: “I have played basketball since I was a very young boy. I’ve decided to come back to playing, and also be involved in a coaching role, because of my love for the game. If I didn’t, it would be disrespecting, to an extent, of all of that time.
“I see myself somewhat as a player’s coach, and I hope that with my experience and basketball mind, I can help develop a team both on and off the court, give them the tools to survive, and also progress for the future of the Cheshire Jets.”
The Jets’ first season game is against Manchester Giants at the Northgate Arena.