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Changing of the Guard at Wolves

Last Updated: Oct 1, 2013 03:03pm
St. Clement, Worcester
By Colin Taylor
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Worcester Wolves’ new guard pairing of Alex Owumi and Zaire Taylor is being described in some quarters as potentially the best backcourt combination in the British Basketball League.

As the Wolves put in place the final preparations for their eagerly-anticipated debut outing in the University of Worcester Arena, against Leicester Riders this Friday, they have the reassurance that the experience of Owumi and Taylor will be backed up by some keen young talent. 

While the club have previously announced the return of 19 year-old Harry Turner and the new signing of 20 year-old Caylin Raftopoulos, there are one or two other young guards who will also be eager to stake a claim for court-time.

Disraeli Lufadeju has been putting up impressive numbers for the Medway Crusaders in the English Basketball League, one division below the Wolves, and has now caught the eye of Worcester Director of Basketball Paul James. The 21 year-old  led the Crusaders’ scorers last season when averaging 20 points a game, as well as dishing out three assists, and putting his 6 feet 1 inch height to good use in snatching six rebounds per outing. Lufadeju also top-scored for English Universities when they successfully defended their Home Nations title earlier this year.

Meanwhile another player on that title-winning England team, Calvin Morant-Hudson, returns to the Wolves for a second season, looking to build on his debut. While he performed solidly for the University of Worcester side, the speedy point guard often found himself behind several others in the fight for minutes on the Wolves senior team.

James sees great potential in both players, commenting: “Disraeli has certainly shown he can perform at a lower level. It will now be up to him to show me that he can carry his skills over to the BBL. Calvin is another who has talent, but needs to be able to perform at this level.”

Rounding out Wolves’ roster for this season’s campaign is small forward Daniel Belgrave. Although he will now be entering his third season in Worcester, Belgrave is a player who has so far had a stuttering couple of years at the club. After seeing very little time on court in 2011, he was quick to grab his chance to impress early in the 2012 season, before returning to a backup role thereafter. After registering a solid eleven point performance in an October blowout of Mersey Tigers, Belgrave came even more to the fore with a stunning 26 point explosion in the 98-59 demolition of Cheshire the following day. Although that rousing weekend was rewarded by his inclusion in the BBL Team of the Week, faltering form and an injury saw his impact tail off after that.

Nevertheless, James is content that Belgrave is another player who can do a job for the club, saying: “There is likely to be greater competition than ever for minutes this year. Daniel knows what he has to do to grab a share.”

These latest signings are also testament to the valuable relationship that Wolves has in place with the University of Worcester, with Kalil Irving, Harry Turner, Caylin Raftopoulos, Disraeli Lufadeju, Calvin Morant-Hudson and Daniel Belgrave all being able to happily combine their university studies with playing basketball.

The very first chance for the Worcester public to see a British Basketball League match in the new University of Worcester Arena will be this Friday evening (tip off 7.30pm), when the treble-winning Leicester Riders are the visitors. Advance tickets can be purchased by visiting the Wolves’ website: www.worcesterwolves.org

 

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