KESTRELS SIGN AMERICAN FORWARD RICKY MADISON
Team Solent Kestrels are excited to welcome American forward Ricky Madison to the programme for the 2022/23 season, as Coach Ben Stanley further bolsters hi new look Kestrels squad. The 6’7 swingman is already with the squad and will await confirmation of his international clearance. Madison who hails from Norcross, Georgia in the states attended NCAA Division I school High Point University (North Carolina) between 2015-2019 where he played four seasons in the Big South Conference. During Ricky’s senior year at HPU he posted averages of 8.9 ppg, 8.4 rpg whilst shooting almost 60% from the field, as he started all 31 games for the Panthers. He would then turn pro during the 2019/20 season, signing for Tbilisi State University in the Georgian Super Liga where he averaged 15 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.1 apg. After sitting the COVID season out, Ricky returned to Georgia for the 2021/22 season, this time with BC Cactus Tbilisi where in 10 games he averaged 11ppg and 4.1 rpg. Ricky added, “What’s going on Kestrels Family, this is Ricky Madison checking in letting you know I’ll be the newest member to the team. I’m really looking forward to getting to work with coach Ben and getting to know the team for this upcoming season. I’m excited to develop my game, learn new things and test my self at this level, with the goal being to bring more silverware back to an already winning culture.” TSK Head Coach Ben Stanley gave us his thoughts on the addition of Ricky to his squad, “We're excited to have Ricky with us for the season. He comes to us with a great deal of experience and has been highly regarded as an individual that can have a tremendous impact for our squad on and off the floor. I'm really excited to see what he can do in NBL D1 with his size, strength and skill level.” With Ricky’s international clearance still pending it is not confirmed whether he will be available for this weekends Kit King Trophy clash with Essex Rebels at the SSC, however he will almost definitely be ready to go by the NBL D1 season opener on the 15th October 2022.
Team Solent Kestrels are delighted to welcome guard Oliver Wright to the programme ahead of the 2022/23 NBL Division 1 season, the 6’1 sharpshooter joins both the Kestrels and Solent University where he will study for his undergraduate degree also. Oliver grew up in the Worcester Wolves junior programme playing with ex Kestrels junior (who also featured at the D1 level last season) Max Matthews before venturing to Oaklands College. Whilst at Oaklands Wright would develop a reputation as one of the better shooters at the junior level in the EABL, where he would go on to average 17.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.1 spg whilst shooting 41.5% from 3 point territory, earning him EABL all conference honours last season. He would also feature on Oaklands Wolves D1 side over the last two seasons, moving into a bigger role last season in 22 games for the Hertfordshire side. TSK player caller Ben Stanley add this on Olly’s arrival, “Oliver’s experience at D1 will be an important factor this year. He's been well coached and knows how to play off the ball and he leaves everything out on the floor with his competitive edge. His ability to knock down the 3 ball will be key for us this season also. I'm looking forward to working with him across NBL D1 and BUCS.” Wright contributed across the board for the Wolves last season in just over 18 minutes a game, averaging 6.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.0 apg. Oliver had this to say on his move to Southampton, “I am very excited to start a new journey at Solent University whilst also playing for Team Solent Kestrels. I’m looking forward to competing with and against the top talents in the country. I will look to improve my game athletically and be able to have an impact on the team where I can and I can’t wait to get started.” Kestrels welcome Worthing Thunder to the SSC this Saturday afternoon (4pm) in the Kit King Trophy group stages. All tickets will be £3 for both Trophy games this weekend and next.
OLIVER WRIGHT MAKES SWITCH TO SOUTH COAST
Image Courtesy | Chiana DiStefano
KESTRELS WELCOME AMERICAN FORWARD JUSTIN BESSARD
Team Solent Kestrels are delighted to announce the signing of Justin Bessard ahead of the 2022/23 NBL Division 1 season. The 6’6 Forward from Los Angeles, California becomes Coach Stanley’s first import addition to his new look squad and will help to bolster the front court for TSK. Bessard started his college basketball journey with NAIA school Bellevue before transferring to and finishing up with Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. During the 2019/20 season would help his Warriors to a 26-5 record on the year, whilst averaging 15.1 points per game, 7 rebounds per game and 1.8 assists per game. The record would be enough for Westmont to be crowned regular season GSAC champions, with Justin picking up All-Conference Team honours. The California native turned pro in the 2021/22 season with Albanian top division side Vllaznia Shkodra. Justin gave his thoughts on signing with the Kestrels, “I am excited to join the Team Solent Kestrels community and compete at a high level. I know I will be able to contribute toughness and high energy to this championship caliber team and I can’t wait to get to work with the team. I am grateful for this opportunity and ready to put the work in through-out the season.” Bessard posted averages of 10.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg across a 10 game span with Vllaznia during the 2021/22 season. Head Coach Ben Stanley expressed his excitement on welcoming Justin to Southampton, “We're very excited to have Justin join us this year at the programme. He's filled up a stat sheet both in college and in Europe, and more importantly his personality will make him a great fit as part of the Kestrels Family. His versatility and competitiveness are going to be needed on the team this year and we feel as though he is ready to impact right away.” Kestrels will open up the season with Trophy play next Saturday at the SSC as they welcome Worthing Thunder for a 4pm tip off.
Team Solent Kestrels are excited to welcome Gregoire Durand back to the programme for another season, where he will make the jump full time to the NBL Division 1 squad under Head Coach Ben Stanley. Greg spent his first season with the programme involved with the D1 squad but predominantly competing with the BUCS and NBL D2 squads, across the 2021/22 season. Durand who hails from Sheffield would grow up in the Sharks junior programme before making the switch to Charnwood College to compete at the EABL level. The back end of Greg’s first season and second year would be hampered by a knee injury, however the 6’5 wing would explode back on the scene in the 2019/20 season, averaging just over 14 points per game. His breakout year would earn him a JUCO scholarship to Howard College in Texas, in the United States. After just a year in the states, the Yorkshireman would return back to the UK and moved to the south coast to Solent University. The Sheffield native added, “I’m extremely excited for the upcoming season, I am looking forward to getting to work with our new coach and new squad. I believe it will be a big year for the team and me personally, and I can’t wait to get started.” Greg had himself a very productive first season with the programme as he posted averages of 13.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.2 apg in NBL Division 2 last season. TSK play caller Ben Stanley gave his thoughts on the addition of Durand to his roster, “Greg had a great first year with the club and has shown flashes of serious potential at both ends of the floor. We're going to try and get him to be a little more aggressive this year to take advantage of what is a really solid skill set. I think there's is lot to come from him and this could be a break out year for him in Division 1.” The squad will take on Team USA Select on Friday evening in a behind closed doors pre season fixture, stay tuned to our social platforms for updates and the season schedule coming very soon.
COACH STANLEY RETAINS DURAND FOR 22/23 SEASON
Image Courtesy | Luke Simcock
Team Solent Kestrels are proud to announce the signing of Sam Akano to the NBL Division 1 side, Akano makes the switch from the D2 squad, after helping them to the NBL D2 Playoff Final last season. The speedy 6’0 guard, who hails from London, proved to be one of the standout guards in the division for Coach Sylvain Donneaud’s side last time out and played a major part in the squads success in both BUCS and NBL D2. Sam started his basketball journey with London Greenhouse Pioneers’ academy “Harris Academy St. Johns Wood” where he would play in the ABL, before heading north to Myerscough College. During his time with Myerscough Akano gained huge experience in Europe competing in the EYBL competition, knocking off a number of power house European programmes along the way. In 2020 Sam made the switch to the south coast where he would begin to study for his undergraduate degree at Solent University but with the season cancelled due to COVID was unable to begin his playing journey with the programme. 2021/22 would see him kick start his time with the club and university and earn himself the chance to now represent the division 1 side this coming season. Sam added, “I am excited to get back on the court again knowing that I am playing for Team Solent Kestrels and in particular the division 1 team this season. I’m really looking forward to playing in front of the Kestrels Family crowd and ready for whats in store for us this season.” Sam did a little bit of everything for his team last season posting averages of 12.4ppg, 4apg, 3.7 rpg, 1.9spg across the division 2 campaign. TSK Head Coach Ben Stanley weighed in on Akano, “Sam is a dynamic player with some serious speed who loves to put the ball in the hoop. If we can help him elevate his ability to read the floor I think he can be a key contributor for us this year. I've heard great things about his attitude and approach and I'm sure he's ready to put the work in to get better.” Stay tuned for more player announcements and the confirmed season schedule coming very soon.
SAM AKANO MAKES THE JUMP TO DIVISION 1 SQUAD
Image Courtesy | Luke Simcock
Kai Walker becomes Coach Ben Stanley’s second signing for his new look Team Solent Kestrels NBL Division 1 roster, Walker will return to Southampton for a third successive season whilst he completes his undergraduate degree at Solent University. The 6’5 wing, who hails from Croydon, moved to the south coast in 2020 after spending a season with Westminster Warriors and Brunel University in NBL D1 and BUCS Premier respectively. Kai would feature in just 4 games off the bench for Coach Guymon’s title winning side in the 2020/21 season. However with the return of NBL D2 in 21/22, Walker would prove to be a game changer for Coach Sylvain Donnuead’s squad with the reintroduction of BUCS also, Kai found his rhythm with both sides as a key contributor. He would go on to be named in the NBL D2 South Team of the Year as well as the D2 British Team of the Year, well deserved accolades for Kai’s breakout season. Kai added, “I am really excited for the upcoming season and the challenge ahead. I have had a hard working off season where I have put hours and hours in to improve my game for this season. I am looking forward to working with coach Ben and getting with the guys ready to compete this year. I am also looking forward to developing my game on and off the court throughout the year. Most importantly I am most excited about seeing everyone at the SSC very soon!” Kai posted impressive averages in NBL D2 last season filling up the box score with 17.8 ppg, 10.7, 2.6 apg, 1.7 spg, all in a little over 28 minutes a game. TSK Head Coach Ben Stanley commented, "Kai has been a key member of the club the last couple of years and I'm looking forwarded to helping him utilise his obvious physical skills to the best effect. He's got a seriously high motor and leaves it out on the floor every time he's on court, so I know there's more to come from him going into this season as we work to optimise his skill set and his IQ over the course of the year.” Stay tuned to our social media platforms for more player announcements across the week.
KESTRELS WELCOME BACK KAI WALKER FOR THIRD SEASON
Image Courtesy | Luke Simcock
Team Solent Kestrels are excited to announce the return of Elias Poorman as the first signing under new Head Coach Ben Stanley. The 6’4 guard makes his return to the TSK D1 Men’s squad making it his third successive season on the south coast. Poorman or “Zain” as he is more commonly known helped guide Coach Sylvain Donneaud’s BUCS Premier squad to the playoff semi finals last season, before a fantastic NBL D2 Playoff run culminated in a narrow overtime loss in the Playoff Final. Elias would prove influential for Coach Donneaud’s squad last season, all whilst featuring for the treble winning NBL D1 squad off the bench. Zain will continue to study for his undergraduate degree at Solent University as part of the clubs ongoing partnership with the university and will also feature for Coach Stanley’s new look BUCS side through-out the 2022/23 season. Coach Ben Stanley gave his thoughts on the re-signing of Poorman, “I've been watching Zain for the last couple of years and I'm eager to see how he can translate his potential to D1. With his experience with the first team he'll be a key component this year, and his vision and ability to read the game mean he has the potential to put up numbers across the stat sheet. I'm looking forward to helping him maximise his potential this season.” Posting impressive averages last season of 12.6ppg, 7.6 rpg, 4.5 apg and 2.5 spg, Elias will look to build on those numbers this time round as he provides a little bit of everything across the board. Poorman added, ““This summer has allowed me to refine and develop my all-round game, helping me to become more and more prepared for this upcoming season. I’m really excited to play alongside some of my former teammates and get to work with our new head coach. I have every confidence that we will exceed any expectations through-out the season.” Stay tuned for more 2022/23 squad news coming very soon as well as the full confirmed schedule!
Image Courtesy | Luke Simcock
ELIAS POORMAN RETURNS FOR 2022/23 SEASON
Team Solent Kestrels are excited to announce the return of Elliott Sentance as he rejoins Coach Guymon’s squad as a late addition to the 2021/22 roster. Elliott spent last season with the Plymouth Raiders in the BBL after an extremely successful first outing with the Kestrels in 2019/20. Sentance, originally from Leicester, was an integral part of the Kestrels side that went on to clinch the NBL D1 League title, the National Cup title and finish runners up in the BBL trophy back in 2019/20. A number of impressive performances, including a 40 point outing against Reading Rockets, would catch the eye of BBL coaches across the country with Plymouth eventually giving Elliott the platform to make the jump from the NBL. Elliott gave us his thoughts on returning to the club, “I am obviously really excited to be back at Team Solent Kestrels after a season away. Everything has happened pretty quickly and when I was aware that the club may have a situation for me, I was really keen to get back to Southampton. We have an exciting squad and I can’t wait to get going.” Elliott posted very impressive numbers in his previous season with TSK averaging 21.1.ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.7 apg whilst shooting 46.2% from 3PT. TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon added, “It’s great to have Elliott back with us. He was such an instrumental part of our 19/20 season and is truly part of our family here at Kestrels. Elliott provides us with a prolific outside scoring threat as well as being a tough match up in our league. I look forward to seeing him integrate himself with the new group and help add another dimension to our roster. Sentance joins up with the squad ahead of this weekends L Lynch Trophy double header.
Image Courtesy | Luke Simcock
SENTANCE RETURNS TO SOUTHAMPTON FOR 2ND SPELL WITH TSK
Team Solent Kestrels are excited to announce the return of 6’3 Guard Luke Busumbru ahead of the 2021/22 NBL D1 season, in what will be his third consecutive season with the club. With the club announcing the departure of Reis Pinnock earlier this week Busumbru will bolster Coach Guymon’s back court as TSK look to retain their D1 crown. The high flying Busumbru joined TSK back in 2019 in what would be an historical season for the club, going onto collect both National Cup and NBL D1 League titles. He would then feature for the Kestrels last season and played a pivotal role in the club collecting a clean sweep of trophies (League, Trophy and Playoffs titles). Luke gave us his thoughts on returning to Southampton, “I’m really excited to be back with the guys from last year as well as all the new guys on the team. The league is looking real competitive this season, a number of teams have gotten better over the off season and it should be a lot of fun to compete again. I also can’t wait to get back playing in front of the fans at the SSC!” Busumbru posted averages of 8.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg and 1.5 apg all whilst shooting 64% from the field. Coach Guymon was extremely pleased to welcome Luke back, "Luke has been an instrumental part of our success and chemistry over the last 2 seasons and it’s great to have him back for this season. I know that Luke can be one of the elite guards in this league and has only started to scratch the surface with what he can achieve. I’m looking forward to seeing his impact and progression over the course of this season.” Stayed tuned for the full regular season schedule coming very soon.
Image Courtesy | Luke Simcock
KESTRELS WELCOME LUKE BUSUMBRU BACK FOR 2021/22 SEASON
Team Solent Kestrels are excited to welcome back Elias Poorman for his second season with the club. Elias or Zain as he is more fondly known by his team mates will return to Coach Guymon’s side after a successful first season, whilst also continuing to study for his post graduate degree at Solent University. Having joined the TSK squad last season on his return from Midland College in Texas, USA, the 6’4 Guard worked his way into the playing rotation and would give a number of timely contributions through-out the season. However Zain would find himself hampered by a hand injury that would ultimately limit his overall impact and would have to spend a portion of the season rehabbing. Zain added this upon confirming his return for the 2021/22 season, “I’m definitely super excited and determined to be back for my second year with Team Solent Kestrels and tackle the season head on. I feel as if I have made the necessary adjustments to my game and have put in countless hours this off season to make this upcoming season one to remember. With applying my work ethic & consistency to both studies and basketball I’m driven to continuously better myself” TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon was really pleased to welcome Poorman back to the squad for another season, “Zain’s work ethic and commitment to develop his game has been excellent. An unfortunate hand injury after Christmas limited Zain last season but I am excited to see what he can achieve this year in both NBL D1 and BUCS with the Solent University side.” Stay tuned for more news and updates, including pre season and regular season schedules in the coming weeks.
Image Courtesy | Luke Simcock
ELIAS POORMAN RETURNS FOR 2ND SEASON WITH TSK
Team Solent Kestrels welcome signing number ten in the shape of 6’6 forward Kemel Archer who played for Spanish 4th division side last season CDE Becedo Santander. Archer will join TSK fresh from a summer of elite level basketball, where he has featured for Candian summer league team, Edmonton Stingers, who are currently the #1 seed heading into the playoffs. Kemel, who holds dual citizenship (British/Canadian) was born in London before moving to Canada as a youngster where he would go on to attend college at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario. Archer would get his college career underway in 2017/18 with the Golden Hawks and his production would grow year on year right until the 2019/20 season where he posted 12 ppg, 10 rpg picking up team MVP to close out his college career. Most recently the athletic forward signed his first professional contract and led the charge for Spanish side CDE Becedo Santander in the EBA through the 2020/21 season. Kemel led his side to a 5th place finish in their conference before going on to be named in the eurobasket.com EBA All 1st Team whilst picking up the Forward of the Year accolade also. Through the off season Archer has featured for Edmonton Stingers back in Canada in the ever growing CEBL Summer League competition. Kemel was excited to sign with the club and gave us his thoughts, “I am excited to join the Kestrels they are a first class organisation that has a rich history of winning and a great team culture. I hope to add to their success this upcoming season and really add my piece of the puzzle to the team we have coming together. The squad the coaching staff have put together, we have a really deep team with multiple guys that can play and shine at any given point, that’s really important to me.” Archer posted impressive averages in Spain last season, pouring in 15.3 ppg, 13 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.7 spg. TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon commented on welcoming Kemel to TSK, “We are extremely excited to have Kemel join the TSK family. He comes highly recommended from a number of our contacts and I’ve no doubt of the impact he can make in this league. He is a tremendous athlete, a relentless rebounder and has the ability to impact on both ends of the floor. We look forward to him joining the group later this month with the conclusion of the CEBL playoffs.” Archer makes it signing #10, stayed tuned for another one early next week!
Image Courtesy | CDE Becedo Santander
KESTRELS ADD KEMEL ARCHER TO BOLSTER FRONT COURT
Team Solent Kestrels welcome back three point marksman Chris Scarlett for his 7th senior season with the club. Scarlett returns to Matt Guymon squad fresh off a treble winning season with the club, playing a vital role in stretching the floor on almost every offensive possession for TSK. The highly rated three point specialist is a product of TSK’s youth player pathway and after some time in the States, Chris returned to help Kestrels ascent through the NBL divisions. The 6’0 sharpshooter played a pivotal role in securing promotion to Division 1, through the 2015/16 season as Kestrels would clinch the league title. He has featured ever since in all of Coach Guymon’s squads and been a lynch pin in ever bit of success thus far for the club. Chris gave us his thoughts on re-signing for his 7th season, “I’m so happy and grateful to be able to sign for another season. I’m excited for what this season will deliver and to be able to have the Kestrels Family back at the SSC will be a great feeling for the whole squad. I’m excited to play with all the new guys as well as everyone we are bringing back. Our goals never change and I know with the squad that’s been assembled we have all the right components to deliver what we set out to achieve.” Scarlett averaged 5.5 ppg off the bench for TSK last season, as well as as 1.4 rpg and whilst the numbers were not at his sharp shooting best he would have a number of games with multiple made triples. TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon was pleased to welcome Chris back, “We are so pleased to bring Chris back for another season. Chris has played such a significant role in our journey from D3 and it’s no surprise why he is a fan favourite each year. He has consistently shown he is an elite shooter with the ability to change the momentum of a game, but what I admire most is his relentless competitive nature and his unwavering support of his teams success.” It’s time for a new face later in the week, stay tuned to our socials for more updates.
Image Courtesy | Luke Simcock
SCARLETT RETURNS FOR 7TH SEASON WITH TSK
Team Solent Kestrels are excited to welcome 6’1 British guard Reis Pinnock to the club, as he pens a one year deal for the 2021/22 season. Reis joins from fellow NBL D1 side Reading Rockets where he made his professional debut after spending a number of years with Loughborough Student Riders. Pinnock, a graduate of Barking Abbey School, brings with him a wealth of NBL D1 experience having been a part of the junior Kent Crusaders side that went on to win the 2014/15 D1 Playoff title. Reis would then play a huge part in Loughborough’s rise through Division 1 helping them to a league title in the 2017/18 season, before going onto lead the team in scoring through-out the 2019/20 season with just under 15 points a game. Reis gave us his thoughts on joining TSK, “I’m excited to be joining such a well run and professional club, that has solidified itself as a top club throughout all leagues in the UK. I’m also looking forward to getting on court with an extremely talented roster to hopefully bring more silverware back to the club.” Last season Reis would contribute right across the board with Reading Rockets, posting averages of 8.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 4.4 apg and 2.0 spg. TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon weighed in on the signing of Pinnock, “Reis has established himself as one of the elite defensive players in the league over the last few seasons and we are thrilled to have him join the Kestrels family this year. Since his time at Loughborough Reis has impressed with his high tempo in transition, rebounding and his ability to move off the ball which we think will have a huge impact with our new group.” Reis makes it signing number 8 on the 2021/22 roster, there are still more to come this week so keep it locked to our social media platforms.
Image Courtesy | Luke Simcock
PINNOCK SIGNS WITH TSK FOR 2021/22 SEASON
Team Solent Kestrels are delighted to announce the return of 6’6 Forward Travis Charles for the 2021/22 season. Charles extends his stay in Southampton for another season, making it his 4th consecutive year with the club. The New York native moved across the pond to join TSK back in 2018/19 out Albany College (NCAA DI) and helped lead Coach Guymon’s side to an NBL Playoff title before going on to be named NBL Team of the Year. 19/20 would be even more successful for Charles, adding the National Cup to his resume whilst helping Kestrels to the BBL Trophy final. Another season that would see the power presence named to the TOTY. All before last seasons historical treble winning season where Travis lead the team in scoring and continued his dominance of the league, making it a hat-trick of TOTY appearances whilst taking home a league title medal, L Lynch Trophy medal and another playoff finals medal. The man himself had this to say, “It feels good to be back for another season with the Kestrels. For us it’s the same goals every year, same grind, and it never stops, we know how much work it will take to stay at the level we have been at. I’m looking forward to stepping on the court with the new guys this season.” Travis lead TSK in scoring last season and posted impressive averages of, 16.9 ppg, 7.8rpg, 1.4 apg all whilst shooting 61.2% from the field. TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon was pleased to welcome Charles back to his side, “Travis has been a huge part of a success over the past 3 seasons so it is great that we are able to welcome him back to Southampton. He has become a real figure in our Kestrels Family and within our community at the club and that is a part of who Travis is as a person off the court. I know Trav has worked hard through the off-season to take care of some niggling injuries that had an effect on his body last season and I’m looking forward to seeing him back on the floor.” Stay locked to our socials for more signing news this week.
Image Courtesy | Luke Simcock
TRAVIS CHARLES RETURNS FOR ANOTHER ANOTHER SEASON
Brendan Okoronkwo has out pen to paper on a new one year deal that sees him return to Team Solent Kestrels for a third successive season. Coming off the clubs most successful season yet, Brendan helped to add all three pieces of silverware up for grabs last time out and will no doubt be a key figure for Coach Guymon’s side this time round. Brendan joined TSK from Worthing Thunder for the 2019/20 season and has been a main stay in the Kestrels core ever since. He would pick up NBL Cup Finals MVP during that season before helping his side to the league title also. The 6’3 guard went one better in his second outing with TSK securing another league and playoff title (first with Thunder) whilst adding the L Lynch Trophy to his resume. Okoronkwo gave us his thoughts on returning to Southampton this season, “I’m really grateful to be back at Solent after such a unique yet successful 2nd season with the club. I’m looking forward to getting the new group together and having the atmosphere of our amazing fans back at the SSC!” Brendan had another season of contributions across the board through-out the 2020/21 campaign averaging; 9.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.8 apg and 1.4 spg. TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon expressed his excitement at bringing Brendan back for the new season, "We are excited to have Brendan rejoin us for his 3rd season. He has been a key part of our success the last 2 years, bringing versatility and a high level of IQ on both ends of the floor. Brendan has worked hard this off-season to take care of some niggling injuries he dealt with last year and I’m looking forward to seeing him build on the impact he’s had the last few seasons.” Brendan becomes signing number 6 for Coach Guymon’s 2021/22 roster, there are still plenty more to come so stay tuned to our social platforms over the weekend.
Image Courtesy | Luke Simcock
OKORONKWO BACK FOR THIRD SEASON WITH KESTRELS
Team Solent Kestrels are delighted to announce Max Richardson as the second new face on Coach Guymon’s 2021/22 roster, with the forward making the switch across the south coast from Worthing Thunder. Richardson moved back to the south coast to play for his home town side last season and proved himself once again as one of the stand out forwards in the country. Max played briefly with Worthing as a junior in NBL D1 before making the move to Loughborough Student Riders where his game would go from strength to strength, eventually leading Riders to an NBL D1 league title (on H2H with TSK). In 2018/19 upon graduating from Loughborough University the 6’5 versatile forward moved to Kongsberg Miners in Norway, where his side won the BNLO Championship before having the season cut short in his second season with the team (2019/20). Richardson gave us his thoughts on signing with TSK, “I’m extremely happy to sign with such an established club with a winning culture. I have played with and against a lot of the players before so I’m really looking forward to getting on court with them. I’m excited for what will hopefully be a covid free season and hopefully seeing the trophies come back to Southampton again.” Max joins the Kestrels off the back of perhaps his most impactful season a professional, posting an impressive 16 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.2 spg and 1.2 bpg. Head Coach Matt Guymon was pleased to be able to welcome Max to Southampton, “I have coached against Max since he was an U14 and have always been super impressed with his ability and impact at every level he has played. Max’s versatile skillset makes him a real match up problem in our league and it is exciting to implement that into our offensive system. More importantly, Max is a great person that has been a part of a number of winning organisations and I can’t wait to see the impact he will have with our squad.” Stayed tuned for signing number 6 later this week, with plenty more signing news on the way.
Image Courtesy | Luke Simcock
RICHARDSON JUMPS ACROSS THE SOUTH COAST TO JOIN TSK
Team Solent Kestrels welcome back 6’7 Forward Orlan Jackman for the second year of his current deal with the club. “OJ” as he is more commonly referred to by his team mates, returns to Southampton looking to build upon an incredibly successful first season with the club, that also saw him named the All-British NBL Team of the Year. Jackman, who hails from Hackney in London brought his wealth of playing experience to the south coast for the 2020/21 campaign and was able to help guide Coach Guymon’s side to a clean sweep of NBL Silverware (League, Trophy & Playoff titles). The former Team England Commonwealth Games star would then go on to represent GB in the 3X3 Europe Cup in Romania earlier this summer, continuing to add honours to his resume at the tender age of 33. OJ gave us his thoughts ahead of the 2021/22 season with TSK, “After a great first season with the club, I can’t wait to get back on the floor with the group we have for this season and finally play in front of the all the fans. Last season is now very much behind us and we know how hard it will be to replicate the success this time around, a challenge everyone is very excited for!” The versatile Forward literally did a little bit of everything through-out last seasons championship run and that definitely reflected in his averages; 14.6 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 3 apg whilst shooting a little over 37% from 3 point land. Coach Guymon also weighed in on Jackman’s return, “It’s fantastic to have Orlan back with us for year 2. His veteran leadership and versatility at both ends of the floor was a big factor for us last season and I know that will continue to benefit our squad. After a busy summer with the GB 3X3 teams, we are looking forward to him rejoining us in Southampton for pre season.” OJ joins, Elliot Dadds, Andre Arissol and Cole Gentry on this seasons roster and there are plenty more announcements coming this week, stay tuned.
Image Courtesy | Luke Simcock
OJ RETURNS FOR SECOND SEASON WITH KESTRELS
Team Solent Kestrels are excited to announce the signing of American Point Guard Cole Gentry from NCAA DI school Wright State University. The 5’10 floor general signs his first professional contract with TSK and will no doubt serve as a welcome replacement for Ian Smith. Gentry who hails from St. Charles Illinois just west of Chicago, will join the Kestrels with a wealth of NCAA DI experience under his belt. He would originally start his college career with the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, red shirting in 2015-16 before going on to play his freshman season in South Dakota. However after only appearing in 10 games that year he would make the switch to Ohio, attending Wright State University for the remainder of his time as a DI college athlete. Cole would make an immediate impact once he was on the floor for the Raiders averaging 9.1 ppg, 2,8 rpg, 2.6 apg whilst shooting 37% from 3, in a season which saw WSU clinch the Horizon League Tournament title and make an appearance in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Over the following two seasons Gentry lead his side to an Horizon League regular season title and an NIT appearance before graduating in 2019-20. Cole gave his thoughts and expressed his excitement on signing with the Kestrels, “I’m extremely excited and thankful for the opportunity to start my professional career with TSK. The team’s uptempo style of play, championship culture (winning the treble last season and 3 league championships in a row), and great leadership from Coach Guymon, Coach O’Keeffe, and GM James Matthews are all things I can’t wait to be a part of this upcoming season. I’m ready to get to Southampton and get to work with my teammates and coaches as well as meet the Kestrels Family!” Gentry most definitely fits the winning culture at TSK as during his time at Wright State the team would go a combined 71-29 across three seasons of play, Cole would also finish with combined averages of 10.8 ppg, 2.9 apg, 2.7 rpg, 1.4 spg and an impressive 38% from 3 point land. TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon added, “Cole came onto our radar last year and immediately impressed us with his ability. He is a true point guard, that comes from a winning program where he had a significant impact in each of his 3 seasons. He plays the game at pace and is an exceptional playmaker, with great shooting range and I think our fan base will really enjoy watching how he plays the game at both ends of the court. Most importantly for our club we are bringing in a high character role model that I have no doubt will make a huge impression in NBL1 and our local community with the Kestrels Family.” Stayed locked to our social media platforms next week as we continue to unveiled the 2021/22 roster.
Image Courtesy | WSU Athletics
TSK WELCOME NEW SIGNING COLE GENTRY TO SOUTHAMPTON
Team Solent Kestrels are excited to announce that reigning NBL Defensive Player of the Year, Andre Arissol has put pen to paper on a new one year deal to keep him at the club for the 2021/22 season. The 6’2 Guard made his professional debut last season with TSK and got his career off to a flying start as he played a major part in helping to secure the NBL Treble (League, Trophy & Playoffs). 24 year old Arissol quickly grew his role with the Kestrels as he provided immediate impact on both ends of the floor for Coach Guymon’s side, before going on to be named in the All British NBL Team of the Year and picking up Defensive Player of the Year honours. Dre’s game continued to flourish down the stretch of the season and that was perhaps most evident during the L Lynch Trophy Final as he poured in 24 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals to clinch not only the Trophy title but the Finals MVP award also. Arissol weighed in on his return to the club for a second season, “I don’t even know where to start! Resigning and getting the opportunity to represent Southampton and the Kestrels is an opportunity I’m so grateful for! Especially with having the fans back, I’m just grateful for the opportunity and excited to take it to another level with the new squad this season.” Andre was able to contribute right across the board for the champions as he posted averages of; 14 ppg, 4,3 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.9 spg. TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon was extremely pleased to have secured Arissol’s services for another season, “We were very fortunate last summer to sign Andre late in the offseason. He made an instant impact on both ends of the floor and helped take our team to another level with his stifling defence and scoring ability. The most exciting part is that Andre is just scratching the surface with his basketball ability and I can’t wait to see what he can achieve this season.” Dre joins Elliot Dadds in Coach Matt Guymon’s backcourt, keep it locked to our social channels for more announcements over the next few days.
Image Courtesy | Luke Simcock
DPOTY ANDRE ARISSOL RETURNS FOR TSK
Team Solent Kestrels welcome back club captain and hometown favourite Elliot Dadds, for his seventh successive NBL season. Dadds, a product of the TSK junior programme returns after his most successful season yet with the club, leading the side to a League, Trophy and Playoff treble during the 2020/21 campaign. Elliot added; “I'm so grateful to be given the opportunity to re sign for my local club where I have been a part of the success’ for many years now. I feel blessed to have grown up with and met so many amazing people through the club and I can't wait to get on the court with the team and try to bring more success for everyone involved, I also can’t wait to welcome back the Kestrels Family to the SSC.” The 6’4 Guard has built his reputation as one of the standout defensive players in the country and will look to carry this forward with the new squad heading into the 2021/22 season. Dadds contributed across the board last season as he has done so every year, with 6.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 4 apg, 1.3 spg affecting winning on both ends of the floor. TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon gave us his thoughts on welcoming Elliot back, “We are so pleased to return our club captain for the 21/22 season. Elliot has been instrumental in our senior teams success from the very beginning and his impact has grown each year. I know Elliot has worked very hard physically this off-season and I’m excited to see him back out there leading this new group.” Stayed tuned this week for more player signing news as we continue til reveal Coach Guymon’s 21/22 roster.
Image Courtesy | Luke Simcock
TSK CAPTAIN ELLIOT DADDS BACK FOR THE 2021/22 CAMPAIGN
With planning for the 2021-22 season now well under way it is now time for the Kestrels Family to say good bye and good luck to one of the most decorated players in club history, Ian Smith. TSK’s general over the past two seasons has been influential in making history picking up a number of accolades along the way. Ian signed with TSK fresh out of college, after 4 winning seasons with the Northern State Wolves at the NCAA DII level, and would go on to lead TSK to the NBL D1 regular season title, NBL Cup title and runners up in the BBL Trophy Final, before the 2019/20 season was cut short due to COVID-19. He would also collect NBL Team of the year honours before being named the NBL D1 League MVP. The 5’10 Point Guard returned to Southampton for the 2020/21 NBL Season with some what unfinished business, after an undefeated NBL regular season the year before, he would look to lead his side into the playoffs to go one better. He would do just that as Kestrels made it a clean sweep of NBL silverware, clinching the NBL League title, the inaugural L Lynch Trophy and the NBL D1 Playoff title. Ian would also be named in the NBL D1 Team of the Year for a second successive season, whilst picking up the Playoff Final MVP award, pouring in 37 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks in what would be his final game for the club. Kestrels Head Coach Matt Guymon gave us his thoughts on Ian’s impact over the last two seasons; “Ian has made an unbelievable impact in his 2 years with us. Not only has he been instrumental in our on court success he has also been a remarkable ambassador for the club and a role model to all our junior players. He will be truly missed here in Southampton and we look forward to following his next steps.” Ian posted impressive averages of 18.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 6.4 apg and 1.7 spg in his first season with the club all whilst shooting 40% from the 3pt line, followed up with 16.6 ppg, 6.7 apg, 6 rpg, 1.8 spg in this past seasons campaign. TSK General Manager James Matthews had this to say on Ian’s departure; “Ian has been incredible during his time at the club. Matt and I knew he was special when we recruited him but I don’t think we realised quite how special he was going to be over the course of the two season with us. He’s been one of the best players we have had at the programme and he’s also one of the nicest people I have ever met.” Ian will now move home to the United States to step away from the game and be with his family whilst he pursues a career in coaching at the collegiate level. Everyone here at the Kestrels Family would like to take this opportunity to thank Ian for not only his incredible on court performances, but inspiring a younger generation through our club pathway and leading from the front as a consummate professional. We wish him every success in his future endeavours and he will always be part of the Kestrels Family here in Southampton. Stay tuned this week as we begin to unveil Coach Guymon’s roster ahead of the 2021/22 NBL D1 season.
Image Courtesy | Luke Simcock
KESTRELS SAY GOODBYE TO IAN SMITH AHEAD OF 2021/22 SEASON
ASSISTANT COACH JACK O'KEEFFE TO STEP IN AS INTERIM HEAD COACH
Team Solent Kestrels, Assistant Coach Jack O’Keeffe, is set to take over as interim Head Coach as Matt Guymon and his partner get set for the birth of their child. Jack will lead the squad into the BBL Trophy first round this weekend, as TSK face fellow NBL D1 outfit Derby Trailblazers and will be assisted by Adam Sewell and BUCS 1st team Head Coach Sylvain Donneaud, throughout Guymon’s absence from the sidelines. Everyone here at TSK extends their well wishes to Coach Guymon and his family over this time and we are all excited to welcome a new member of the Kestrels Family.
Image Courtesy | Luke Simcock
2020-21 NBL D1 SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED
With the conclusion of the L Lynch Trophy group stages, where TSK went 3-0 and secured top spot in Group 1, the NBL Division 1 curtain raiser is right around the corner for last years champions. We are pleased to be able to bring you the D1 schedule in full, with the home opener this Saturday 31st October against Essex Rebels. The on going pandemic and the ever changing landscape of government guidance does mean these fixtures are subject to short notice changes and we will of course keep the Kestrels Family firmly in the loop, as and when this is the case. Currently no fans are permitted to attend live basketball games and as a result TSK home games will be lived streamed, with links available on across our social media platforms. Away games will be subject to the hosts providing the stream. TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon commented, “We are really excited to start the regular season after three weeks of competitive action in the L Lynch Trophy. Our guys have been able to use these games to find their rhythm, their game shape and most importantly compete on both ends of the floor. Again we have to recognise and thank everybody working hard behind the scenes to make the season happen in what ever format possible.” Kestrels tip off Saturday evening 6:30pm when D1 newcomers Essex Rebels return to the SSC for the 2nd match up with TSK in the past two weeks, Kestrels ran out 117-61 victors last time out.
Team Solent Kestrels are excited to announce the addition of yet, more fire power to their already impressive guard line up, as Andre Arissol pens a one year deal with the NBL Champions. Arissol makes it signing number 11 for Coach Guymon, as he continues to bolster his squad ahead of the 2020/21 season start date in October. Arissol, a Northampton native, developed his game as a lead guard whilst at Charnwood College (EABL) the academy programme of the Leicester Riders. After spending three years in Loughborough and making his Great Britain debut as an Under 18 at the European Championships, Andre would make the jump to the US. His first stop in the states would take him to Colorado where he attended Otero Junior College, featuring in over 50 games across two seasons for the Rattlers and earned himself a scholarship to Chaminade University of Honolulu (NCAA DII). The 6’2 combo guard went on to have a stellar college career in Hawai and in perhaps the most stand out game of his tenure, he poured in 24 points against DI power house, Georgia, in a match up with potential NBA #1 Draft pick Anthony Edwards at the coveted 2019 Maui Invitational tournament. Andre or Dre as he is more commonly known, weighed in on his decision to sign with TSK, “As much as I’m excited to join such a winning program, I’m also just a huge fan of the team. Especially seeing the noise they made last year and now to be a part of it all and be able to add to the mission TSK have, is great. For me personally this past year has been rocky and after losing my grandma, who is like my best friend, it meant a lot for me to be close to my family and be able to support them, whilst continuing to do what I love, I know she will be happy with that. In a time like this I’m just blessed to be given the opportunity to do what I love full time, I want to thank James, Matt, Jack and the rest of the Kestrels staff for showing faith in me and I cannot wait to get rocking and meet the Kestrels Family.” Andre posted averages of 10.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.4 spg all whilst shooting 34% from the three, in 27 games of the 2019/20 season. TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon added, “We are really pleased to welcome Andre to the Kestrels, he is a player that came on our radar during the recruitment process and having seen his development during his time at Charnwood and then in the US, I have know doubt he will give us added fire power at the guard spots. His ability to shoot the 3 as well as guard the perimeter, fits perfectly with our style of play and I know the Kestrels Family will see that right away.” Check out Andre’s highlights here; youtu.be/QzzinbBF85U
TSK ADD ANDRE ARISSOL TO BOLSTER GUARD LINE UP
POORMAN MAKES IT 10 ON THIS SEASONS ROSTER
As a season start date draws ever closer, preparations are continuing with another addition to this seasons roster, in the shape of 6’4 British Guard, Elias Poorman. The slashing guard becomes Coach Guymon’s 10th player confirmed on the 2020-21 squad and adds yet more fire power to an already exciting guard line up. Poorman, a product of the London United junior programme, had a break out season through-out the 2018-19 season at the age of 18, proving himself as one of the top junior guards in the country. He led his Alec Reed Academy (London United partner academy at the time) side in scoring, assists and steals whilst collecting All-EABL first team honours. He would also feature heavily for his side in the EYBL competition, as they ventured into Europe to face off with some of the continent’s better junior programmes. Elias recently made the switch to the US, where he attended Midland College in Texas (JUCO) featuring in all 30 of their games in the 2019-20 season. He will now make the switch to Solent University where he will study for the next three years as a scholarship athlete, whilst playing with TSK. Elias had this to say, “I am really looking forward to this upcoming season with Team Solent Kestrels. This quarantine I have tried to work on my craft and improve my game everyday. I can’t wait to get start with the group and continue to work on becoming a better person and player. I couldn’t be more happy to become part of the Kestrels Family.” TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon gave us his thoughts on Poorman’s signing, “We are really excited to welcome Elias to the programme for the next three years, as he continues his education at Solent University. As a coaching staff we were able to see a lot of Elias through-out the 2018-19 season in the EABL, where we thought he was one of the stand-out guards in the country with a number of big performances. As one of the younger guys on our roster, we are looking forward to helping Elias continue to develop his game with the mentorship of our senior players.” You can check out Elias’ highlights here; youtu.be/nV4qVz7uoLE
KESTRELS MAKE STATEMENT SIGNING AS JACKMAN JOINS
The excitement continues this week, with Johnathan Lashley confirmed and a provisional start date now on the calendar, Team Solent Kestrels would like to welcome Orlan Jackman to the Kestrels Family on a multi year deal, that will see him join Coach Guymon’s side over the next 3 campaigns. The 6’7 forward will bring a wealth of experience with him, to add to an already seasoned, championship calibre side. Jackman, who is a product of the coveted Hackney White Heat junior programme, rose through the ranks in his early years and was one of the brightest young stars in the country at the time, being recognised with International junior call ups at U18 and U20. He would then go on to win an NBL D1 treble (League, Cup & Playoffs) with Manchester Magic at the age of just 19 before making the switch to the states. The states is where the connection starts for Orlan and Coach Guymon, after spending 2 years at Seminole State, Jackman made the jump to NAIA DI school Oklahoma City. The same school our very own Matt Guymon won two back to back national championships in 2006/07 and 2007/08. The Londoner would start his professional career back in his home city with the London Lions posting a stellar rookie season body of work; 16.1 ppg to go with 7.4 rpg whilst shooting just over 50%. After spending time in Germany and Portugal, Jackman returned home to the BBL where he signed with Worcester Wolves, before moving on to win silverware with Newcastle Eagles, Cheshire Phoenix and the London City Royals. NBL fans from last season will be fully aware of the impact Orlan had at the back end of the 2019/20 season, as he joined up with Essex and Herts Leopards to almost single handed pull them away from relegation averaging a little over 22 points a game, just under 14 rebounds and 5 assists, over 7 games. During his stay in the North West, with the Phoenix, Orlan or “OJ” as he is more commonly known earned a call up to the England Commonwealth squad for the 2018 games in Australia. He would join a number of domestic players from the BBL who would pull on the English jerseys for the first time since the 2006 games. Despite a difficult start to the group phases, the side would go on to finish 2nd in their pool and ultimately fell short in the knock out rounds against Canada. Coach Guymon weighed in on the signing of Jackman, “Orlan adds another extremely experienced and versatile player to our roster. He is a proven winner at every professional level he has played and I’m excited to be able to work with him over the next few seasons. We hope he can add value not just on the floor but be able to provide valuable leadership to our younger players off of it too.” Orlan added, “This is a really exciting move for me at this point of my career, the vision the club has and the family culture is something that I want to be a part of over the next few years. I’m hungry to continue to the winning culture that Matt has built here over the past few seasons and with the group that are returning I feel I can help to grow that. I can’t wait to meet the Kestrels Family and get to work with the whole community on and off the floor.” That makes it signing number 9 for Coach Matt Guymon as he continues to build for next season.
LASHLEY MAKES RETURNEE NUMBER 7 FROM LAST SEASONS SQUAD
Team Solent Kestrels are excited to announce the return of yet another member of last seasons historical undefeated title winning squad, in the shape of Johnathan Lashley. The 6 foot 7 Londoner rejoins Coach Guymon’s side, as they go in search of more silverware for the 2020-21 season, becoming the 7th returnee so far. The former London Lion, was a huge part of last seasons success in all competitions (NBL, BBL and National Cup) as he provided the perfect 1-2 punch at the forward spot with Travis Charles. In perhaps his most influential performance of the season, Lashley helped TSK upset the odds, knocking out his former side in the BBL Trophy 1st round as posted 21 points. He would follow that up with a huge 25 point and 14 rebound double double, the day after in a road win over Essex & Herts Leopards also. John or Big John as his team mates refer to him as, gave us his thoughts on re-signing, “I’m excited for year 2 with Team Solent Kestrels, we had a great run last season and won a lot of games but we had some unfinished business and we were all in agreement with that. So I feel like we are coming with an even stronger mindset for this upcoming season and we are looking to run it back, hopefully we can go for another undefeated season and bring home more silverware for the Kestrels Family.” Lashley posted averages of 8.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 0.7 spg, all whilst shooting just over 55% from the floor in 15 minutes of action per game, providing an extremely efficient contribution for Coach Guymon’s team. TSK’s man in charge, Matt Guymon added, “It is fantastic to have John back with us again this season. His athleticism, length and skill set have a huge impact for us and this was shown in a number of games last year. He is a great character and adds so much to our team chemistry. With a year all ready under his belt with these guys, I know he is capable of taking it to another level this season for us.” That makes it 8 on the roster so far and we know you’re going to love number 9… Check out John’s highlights from last season here; youtu.be/skW4EmGv8w0
Image Courtesy | Luke Simcock
KESTRELS RETURN 3 POINT MARKSMAN SCARLETT
Homegrown Team Solent Kestrels sharpshooter, Chris Scarlett, has become the 6th player from last seasons roster to extend their stay for the 2020-21 season. This will be Scarlett’s 6th season since returning from the states, where he has become one of the most winning players in TSK history. After retiring from basketball at the back end of the 2018-19 season, fresh off securing a league and playoff title double, Chris just couldn’t stay away and after attending a number of pre/early season games, it was a matter of time before he would pen a new one year deal. The 6’0 sharpshooter has built his reputation as one of the best shooters in the country and that was evident, in perhaps the most memorable night of the clubs history. Scarlett would catch fire in the 2nd half of the BBL Trophy Quarter Final (1st leg) match up with Bristol Flyers, as he poured in 18 points in 11 minutes on 5-8 shooting from beyond the arc, helping TSK blow out the BBL side 103-67. TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon was extremely pleased to be welcoming back fan favourite, Scarlett and he added, "Chris epitomises our Kestrels, team first, philosophy in everything that he does. An unbelievable competitor who is among the best shooters in the country. His professionalism & maturity adds so much to our chemistry and level of play, I am thrilled he has returned for another season.” Chris averaged 6.4 ppg, 1.1 rpg and just under 2 made three pointers a game last season, on 40% from deep. Scarlett gave us his thoughts on his return, “I’m really excited to be able to get back on the court again and play in front of the Kestrels Family for another season. I feel like we have a great group of guys again this year and hopefully we can go one better than what we did last year. It means a lot for me to be able to continue to play for the club and for the Kestrels Family.” Check out Chris’s highlights from last season; youtu.be/2a5FEhDqpcg
CUP FINALS MVP OKORONKWO BACK FOR ANOTHER SEASON
Team Solent Kestrels are delighted to announce the re-signing of 6’3 guard, Brendan Okoronkwo, who will return for his second season in Southampton, after a stellar first campaign with the club. Okoronkwo who made the switch from South coast neighbours Worthing Thunder, ahead of last season, becomes the fifth player from Coach Guymon’s history making 2019/20 squad to put pen to paper on a new deal. After earning a reputation as one of the best British guards in the division with Worthing Thunder, the Milton Keynes native, wasted no time at all in adding value to the Kestrels side posting a huge 28 point outing on the road in Loughborough in late November. He would then go on to lead his side to the National Cup title, knocking off Reading Rockets in Essex, whilst picking up the MVP with 16 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. The season success wasn’t done there for Brendan as he would play an important role in the clubs historic BBL Trophy run to the Finals and undefeated NBL title winning season. Brendan was extremely excited to announce he would be returning to the club and had this to say; “Firstly I’d like to acknowledge every single person that has taken a step to support, recognise and understand equality over the last few months. Your uncomfortable conversations and lessons learned from mistakes will make a difference and I am glad to be working with a number of people throughout the Kestrels Family to make sure this impact affects the immediate circles of this community. I’m super pleased to have another season at Solent. When I sat down with the coaches last season we set some high goals personally and as a collective, it’s amazing to see how close we came to realising them. With the returning core our continued chemistry should allow us to build far beyond last season quickly. I’m looking to see how I can continue to develop my game and support the pieces we have, and hopefully we can see our fans very soon at the SSC!” During the 2019/20 season Okoronkwo shot a career high 43% from three point land on just under 2 makes a game, whilst averaging 13.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 3.3 apg and 1.3 spg. TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon gave us his thoughts on bringing Brendan back for another year, “We are thrilled to be able to bring back another key member of last years squad. Brendan is a proven winner, who’s versatility, IQ and defence were instrumental in our success last season. The most impressive part for me is Brendan’s continued focus on his individual improvement and I have no doubt with a year under his belt, there is even more he can contribute next season.” That makes it signing number 6 in total for the 2020/21 squad and we have more news coming later this week on another addition! Check out Brendan's highlights from last season here; youtu.be/slidZNzKTZQ
HIGH FLYING BUSUMBRU RETURNS FOR 2ND SEASON WITH TSK
Team Solent Kestrels are excited to confirm the return of high flying guard Luke Busumbru for the 2020-21 season. The 6’3 guard saw his season cut short last time out, as he suffered a reoccurring foot injury, leaving him sidelined from the middle of February, however after making a full recovery across the summer he will rejoin Coach Guymon’s side for the new season. Luke who has hails from Kent, spent time at national powerhouse school Monteverde Academy in the United States as a junior, before returning home and briefly playing semi professional football. On his return to basketball, Busumbru impressed last season seeing his role grow exponentially for the Kestrels, including stand out performances against; Hemel Storm in the quarter final of the National Cup (21 points & 10 rebounds), Essex & Herts Leopards (23 points & 8 rebounds) and Reading Rockets in the Cup Final (14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals). TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon expressed his delight at securing the services of Busumbru for another season, “Last summer we were made aware of Luke right before the start of pre season. We knew we were getting a talented guard, but had no idea how special he would turn out to be, becoming on the most impactful guards in the division. Luke has made a full recovery from his injury, using the break to rehab and get back to full strength and I have no doubt that he will be able to build some of his excellent performances from last season. Luke made his impact felt across the board last season as he posted averages of 8.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 3.9 apg all whilst shooting 58% from the field. After signing Luke weighed in on his excitement to be back on the floor, “I am really excited to be re-signing with the Kestrels for the 2020-21 season. We have got a great group core guys coming back as well as some key new additions and I can’t wait to get the season up and running. We all definitely feel like we have unfinished business and are hoping for another successful season.” Check out Luke’s highlights from last season here; youtu.be/wcRfmus_Gp4
GOSNEY MAKES THE SWITCH FROM MERSEYSIDE TO SOUTHAMPTON
Team Solent Kestrels are pleased to announce the first new face on the 2020-21 roster, in the shape of 6’6 Wing, Luke Gosney. The Liverpudlian lefty makes the move to the south coast after spending last season with NBL D1 side Liverpool Basketball Club. Luke, who grew up in the Cheshire Phoenix youth programme, would get his chance at aged 17 to be involved with the BBL side in the North West, before he made the switch to Conrad Academy in Orlando Florida for a prep year in 2017. Upon his return to the UK Gosney settled back in with the Phoenix for half a season before finishing up the 2018/19 season with Sefton Stars in NBL D4. Last season would however prove to be his best yet, as despite Liverpools struggles, he would lead the way for them in just 12 games. Luke expressed his excitement at making the move to Southampton, “I’m really excited to be joining Solent for this coming season, to be coached by Matt and Jack will really help me take my game to the next level. I’m looking forward to being part of a winning community and look forward to playing in front of the amazing Kestrels Family.” Another factor in Gosney’s switch was TSK’s ever present partnership with Solent University and the ability for him to combine playing with the club and studying for his degree. Luke will complete his construction management degree over the next two years at the university. Head Coach Matt Guymon gave us his thoughts on his first new addition to the roster, “Luke came onto our radar very early this past season after some excellent performances with Liverpool. He has the ability to impact the game in a number of ways as a bigger guard/wing and thrives playing at a high tempo, which makes him a perfect fit for us. At 21 years old he has a tremendous amount of upside and I’m looking forward to seeing his progress over the next two seasons.” Stay tuned with more news to come this week… Check out Luke in action last season; youtu.be/25evSGTRrQM
CAPTAIN FANTASTIC BACK FOR THE 2020/21 SEASON
Team Solent Kestrels captain Elliot Dadds becomes Coach Guymon’s third signing of the off season, as ‘Mr Southampton’ renews his contract for the 2020/21 season. The fan favourite will make this his 5th consecutive season back at the club after a brief stint in the states, as he will become the clubs longest serving player currently active. Dadds, a product of the Team Solent Kestrels player pathway, has been a main stay in the back court for Matt Guymon’s side throughout their rise through the divisions. The former D2 player of the year has a National Trophy, National Cup, Playoff title and back to back League titles to his name, since TSK’s promotion to NBL D1 and whilst he has added to his trophy cabinet, he has picked up a reputation as one of the most consistent guards in the division, on both ends of the floor. Coach Guymon gave us his thoughts on welcoming back his captain; “Elliott has been instrumental to our success over the last 7 years. His defensive ability/competitiveness is among the best in the league and each season he is adding more to his offensive game. His focus & work ethic this offseason has been outstanding and I am looking forward to another great season from him.” Elliot’s all round reputation was most definitely evident in his numbers from last season’s undefeated outing in NBL D1, posting averages of 10.3 ppg, 5.9 apg, 5.1 rpg & 1.8 spg. The skipper weighed in on the coming season; “I’m really excited to be coming back for another year with the club. With the season ending as unexpectedly as it did I am sure everyone in the league is itching to get back on the floor just like myself. I am looking forward to getting straight back to practice with the group of guys and competing for some more silverware.” Stay tuned for much more player signing news, coming very soon… Check out Elliot Dadds highlight from last season here; youtu.be/Vpt8Dg9lXj4
MVP SMITH RE UPS FOR ANOTHER YEAR WITH TSK
Team Solent Kestrels are delighted to announce the return of the NBL D1 MVP, Ian Smith, for the 2020-21 season as he extends his current deal to the end of next season. The American floor general becomes Coach Guymon’s second player to commit ahead of next season. The former Northern State point guard took NBL D1 by storm in his rookie professional season, leading TSK to the National Cup title, a 2nd league title in as many seasons and the BBL Trophy Final, all whilst securing the league MVP award. Smith’s most memorable performance came in the first leg of the BBL Trophy Semi Final, as he torched the Bristol Flyers including 23 points in the first half on 8/8 shooting from the floor. Ian rejoins his American counterpart Travis Charles, as they will look to continue their work as one of the most formidable duos in the country. Ian was extremely excited on putting pen to paper on a new 1 year deal; “I am super happy to announce that I am returning to Team Solent Kestrels for the year 2! After a great first season, I’m excited to pick up back where we left off. We are building something special down in Southampton and I’m very pleased to be able to continue developing a family atmosphere and a championship culture that will last for years to comes, run it back! Ian posted averages of 18.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 6.4 apg, 1.7 spg and 40% from 3PT, as he lead his side to an undefeated season in NBL action. Coach Guymon weighed in on bringing back his floor general from last season; “Ian was the engine for our team last season and I’m thrilled we’ve been able to bring him back for another year. Through-out last season Ian proved himself as one of the top point guards in the country and I know he is just scratching the surface with what he can achieve.” With two names locked into next years roster, we will be bringing you more news on next seasons line up over the coming days and weeks, so stay tuned Kestrels Family. Check out Ian's highlights from last season here; youtu.be/jqKVe9bNYtM
TRAVIS CHARLES EXTENDS HIS STAY ON THE SOUTH COAST
After an untimely lay off, Team Solent Kestrels welcome back Travis Charles for his third season in the black, white and red. New York native Charles, has been one of the stand out players in NBL D1 for Coach Guymon’s side across the previous two campaigns and he will be looking to continue that run of form as he extends his stay for the 2020-21 season. More commonly known by his peers as the Walking Bucket, Travis wasted no time in his first season with TSK (2018-19) leading them to a league and playoff double, whilst picking up the Finals MVP for his dominant display over Worthing Thunder. He would go one better last season and helped Kestrels clinch their first National Cup, whilst going back to back with consecutive league titles and team of the year appearances. Perhaps more impressively though, Charles was an integral part in the squads BBL Trophy run, pouring in 26 points and 14 rebounds to knock out London Lions en route to the Final. Coach Guymon was extremely excited to announce the return of Travis: “Travis has become a close member of the Kestrel Family and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have him back. He is the ultimate competitor who’s dedication and work ethic has helped create the excellent culture we have developed here. More importantly Travis is a fantastic character who brings energy everywhere he goes and it’s no surprise he is a fan favourite. I’m looking forward to another great season and knowing Travis I’m sure it will be his best one yet.” Travis posted huge numbers through-out Kestrels historic undefeated NBL D1 season, 22.1 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 1.6 apg and 62.1% FG, numbers he will be keen to improve on this time round. Charles also weighed in on his decision to return to Southampton: “Coming back to Team Solent Kestrels was the best decision I could make for me right now, as a team we felt we did a great job last season but we definitely had some unfinished business. With the pandemic and the currently situation having such an affect globally, having the security and some where that I know I can call home was very important to me. I can’t wait to get back to Southampton and get to work.” Check out Travis' best bits from last season here; youtu.be/pJMwGXfZ7HE Stay tuned for more player signings news in the coming days.
KESTRELS CLEAN UP WITH END OF SEASON AWARDS
After an historical 2019-20 season for Team Solent Kestrels, the accolades continue to pour in for the NBL D1 League and Cup Champions, this time by way of the NBL end of season awards. TSK floor general Ian Smith has been named the NBL D1 Most Valuable Player of the Year with Travis Charles also being named in the “NBL D1 Team of the Year.” Whilst the man in charge of the title winners, Matt Guymon, goes back to back yet again, as he picks up consecutive Coach of the Year awards. Ian Smith picks up both MVP and Team of the Year honours in his first season with TSK, to add to his NBL League and Cup winners medals. Smith joined Kestrels straight out of Northern State where he picked up all conference honours, conference tournament MVP as well as leading his Wolves to the National Championship game in 2018. The 5’10 point guard was able to inject that winning mentality straight into this seasons TSK side, as he lead the league in assists (6.4 ppg) and +/- (26.5) all en route to an undefeated 22-0 season. Smith was also influential in the Kestrels BBL Trophy run to the finals, most notably when he torched Bristol Flyers in the Semi Final 1st leg, as he went for 29 on 83% from the field, in a 103-67 win. Smith posted averages of 18.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 6.4 apg, 1.7 spg, all whilst shooting 52.3% from the field and 40% from the three. The league MVP added: “It’s an absolute honour to be receiving this award! A huge thank you goes to everyone that played a role. From management to the coaching staff, my teammates, the fans, to friends, family & my faith, this isn’t possible without all of them. I don't get this without having the best teammates in the country! It is an honour to be able to play for an organisation like the Solent Kestrels and bring home an MVP award. Thank you to the whole Kestrels Family.” Travis Charles in his second season with the reigning NBL D1 champions, went one better this time around as he was able to pick up the National Cup that eluded him and his side in the 2018/19 campaign. Travis also goes back to back with Team of the Year appearances as he joins point guard Ian Smith to make up 2 of this years 5. Charles finished 6th in the division in both scoring and rebounding whilst helping to navigate Kestrels to their best season in Division 1 yet. Like his counter part Smith, the 6’6 forward was also a huge part in the Kestrels BBL Trophy run, as he put up a huge 26 point 14 rebound double double to knock out London Lions in the first round. Travis posted season averages of 22.1 ppg, 9.7 rpg and 1.6 apg all while shooting 62.1% from the field. After going back to back with the Team of the Year appearances and league titles, Travis commented: “It was a great season by the team and it was always because of a team effort. It’s a great feeling to be a part of such a special group. Personally I just did what I had to do as a player in practice with the team, away from the floor as a professional and during individual workouts, all for the greater good of the team. I’m glad we were able to bring home silverware for the Kestrels Family, something that we are all extremely proud of.” The man in charge of it all, Matt Guymon, picks up his second NBL D1 Coach of the Year in as many seasons after leading his team to an undefeated league campaign, the National Cup title as well as navigating TSK to the BBL Trophy Final. Having guided his side from Division 3 through the ranks, he has been able to cement Kestrels place as one of the teams to beat in Division 1 over the previous two seasons. Coach Guymon added: ”This has been an historic season for our club and I’m honoured to receive this award. The group of players we had this year were unselfish and focused, with each player committing to what was best for the team which was a pleasure to be apart of. I want to say a huge thank you to our coaching team (Jack O’Keeffe and Adam Sewell) who have been instrumental in our success, they truly are some of the best in the business. Finally, I want to acknowledge James Matthews (General Manager) & Matt Bishop (Chairman) who go above and beyond for the players/coaching staff to create one of the best environments in the country." TSK’s standout guard Krisztina Velkey was named in the WNBL D1 Team of the Year, after another dominant season, whilst Kestrels youngster Faye Endean, who is still U16 by age group, was also included in the WNBL D2 Team of the Year. A huge congratulations from everyone at the club for their much deserved recognition.
KESTRELS ADD TRAYVONN WRIGHT AHEAD OF BBL TROPHY SEMI FINAL
Team Solent Kestrels are delighted to announce the addition of former BBL Playoff Finals MVP, TrayVonn Wright to their roster. The former Leicester Riders Forward, who brings a wealth of BBL experience to the Kestrels line up, will join up with the squad ahead of their BBL Trophy Semi Final encounter with Bristol Flyers, bolstering an already very talented front court. TrayVonn signed with Leicester Riders back in 2014 in his rookie professional season, out of NCAA D1 North Dakota State, where he would spend two seasons as a stand out forward in the league. He then made the switch to the Swedish top division for the 2016-17 season and although he would start the following season in Greece with Rethymno Cretan Kings, he eventually wound up back in the East Midlands with the Riders. Last season Wright signed with Hemel Storm in NBL D1 for the back half of the campaign and proved a dominant force at that level for the entire division. Wright will come in for TSK as a third American, which is permitted in the BBL Trophy competition and provide an additional threat for the potent Kestrels offensive as they look to make even more history, by advancing to the BBL Trophy Final next month in Glasgow. TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon was pleased with the addition and commented; “We are thrilled to bring TrayVonn into our BBL Trophy campaign. Not only does he give us additional size & athleticism in the front court, he is also a proven winner at every level he has played. He has fit in incredibly well with the guys and I can’t wait to see him out on the floor for us.” Trayvonn added; “I’m excited to join the club, I think we match up really well with Bristol and have a great opportunity to advance in the Trophy competition.” You can catch TrayVonn in action this coming Wednesday evening at the all important Semi Final first leg, at the SSC (7:30pm).
SHARPSHOOTING SCARLETT RETURNS FOR TSK
Team Solent Kestrels are extremely excited to welcome back life long Kestrel, Chris Scarlett as he opts in for one more season on the south coast. Chris will join up with the squad this week and be available for this Saturday’s clash with Worthing Thunder down in Sussex. The 6’0 sharpshooting guard is a product of the Kestrels junior programme and after a spell at the college level in the states, has been a stalwart of the TSK side as they have risen through the divisions. Last season saw his most productive yet, as he posted averages of 7.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg and 1.1 apg all whilst shooting a fraction under 40% from the 3. Fresh off the back of completing the league and playoff double, Scarlett was set to retire to focus on his career, at the conclusion of last season. However, after being in attendance at all 3 TSK games so far this and discussions with the TSK front office and coaching staff, he has cut short any retirement plans and joined this seasons squad. “I guess it wasn’t quite the end, I can’t wait to get started with this new group, I’ve seen the guys in action and think we can be right in the mix for the silverware. Let’s do this one last time!” Added Chris. TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon commented; “We are delighted to have Chris back on board for another season, after what looked like he had hung his boots up. He is Kestrels through and through and understands the clubs culture and philosophy better than anyone. As a player, Chris has proven himself as one of the best shooters in the league and will really bolster our perimeter threat with this new group.”
SIGNING NUMBER 7 FOR COACH GUYMON IN BUSUMBRU
Luke Busumbru becomes signing number 7 for Team Solent Kestrels and Matt Guymon’s division 1 mens side, as they gear up for the new seasons beginning at the end of the month. The 6’3 wing adds more fire power to the Kestrels already strong back court line up and will give TSK the depth needed to compete with the best sides in the league this year. Busumbru originally from South London, made the move to Ashford, Kent at a young age where he grew up playing football at a high level as well as featuring for The North School basketball programme. When Luke turned 15 he was offered a scholarship at Central Florida powerhouse programme, Monteverde Academy, where he would play alongside current NBA All Star D’Angelo Russell. TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon, added; “We are very excited to bring Luke into our team this season. He is an explosive player who is excellent in transition, as well as a versatile playmaker, I’m really looking forward to seeing the impact he can have for us in the Division 1.” Luke has been rehabbing a long term injury since leaving the United States and is extremely keen to get started with his new team mates on the south coast; “I am really excited to join the Solent programme, I had only every heard good things about the club, the set up and what they’re trying to accomplish. For me, it felt like the perfect fit with a great group of guys coming and I just can’t wait to get to work now!” You can catch Luke and the new look Kestrels side in action tomorrow when they play host to Cal Poly in pre season action, 6pm @ Solent Sports Complex.
LASHLEY MAKES THE SWITCH FROM THE CAPITAL FOR TSK
Up next for Team Solent Kestrels is Jonathan Lashley, the 6 foot 7 forward from London who makes the move to the south coast for the 2019-20 season. The versatile big man will no doubt provide Coach Guymon’s side with a much need presence on the inside on both ends of the floor this season. Lashley, a product of the Hackney College Academy system (now New City College) brings with him a wealth of experience even though he is just 23 years old. Having played at a number of levels already, including the BBL (London Lions), NBL (Westminster Warriors) and Serie D in Italy (Ascoli Basket). Jonathan was excited upon signing and we caught up with him; “The conversations I have had with Head Coach Matt and GM James, I feel like this club is a real family based club and I hope I can bring something to the table, on and off the court that would impact the club positively. I can’t wait to get started with the new group in the coming weeks.” With pre season underway this week for TSK, Jonathan will join up with the other new members of the team this week and becomes the 6th signing so far, with plenty more to come. Head Coach Matt Guymon added; “Johnathan is a player I have known since his time at Hackney College and have followed his progress over the last few years. The combination of length and athleticism is going to have a real impact for us this season as well as his ability to rebound and defend. Johnathan is also a capable scorer who can play the 4 & 5 positions.” Catch the team in their first pre season action next Saturday 7th August 2019 when they welcome NCAA DI side, Cal Poly Mustangs to the Solent Sports Complex @ 6pm.
KESTRELS ADD ELLIOTT SENTANCE AHEAD OF THE NEW SEASON
Team Solent Kestrels have secured the signing of 6’6 forward, Elliott Sentance, ahead of the 2019-20 season. The former Leicester Warriors stand out makes his return to NBL D1 after a season in the German fourth tier with BBG Herford. Sentance, a product of the Warriors junior programme, represented the England National team at 3 Junior European Championships before going onto play for the GB U20’s side in 2014. The rise in his development would earn him a scholarship to Kankakee Community College where he spent the 2014/15 season and wasted no time in imposing himself right away, averaging a little over 12 points a game. However he would transfer to Mineral Area College for the following season, where he was an important part of a Cardinals side that went 25-6 on the year. Elliott completed his college career across the border in Canada with University of Lethbridge, where he averaged 19.1 points per game over 18 games, before returning home to Leicester. TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon was full of praised for the new Kestrels man; “We are thrilled to be bringing Elliott to the South coast this season. He is a player we have followed closely since he was a junior and have been impressed with the impact he has had with each of his teams. A standout scorer & rebounder, Elliott is also incredibly versatile giving us a number of options at both ends of the floor.” The versatile forward joins TSK from German club BBG Herford, where he featured in 26 games through out last season, averaging just over 15 points a game and he added this upon signing; “I’m very excited to get started with TSK this year and bring some experience to the team on both ends of the floor. My goal with the team is to win a championship and provide whatever I can in order to achieve that. I want this to be an opportunity to learn from new teammates and coaches and at the same time pass on some knowledge I have learnt over the years.” You can catch Elliott in action with TSK for the first time, when the team face off with Cal Poly on the 7th September 2019 at Solent Sports Complex.
ELLIOT DADDS BACK WITH TSK FOR THE 2019-20 SEASON
Team Solent Kestrels are excited to announce the return of home town favourite, Elliot Dadds for the 2019-20 season. The 6’4 guard, who is a homegrown Kestrels player, will be back in a TSK uniform for the 5th consecutive year since his return from the states. Elliot has been an integral part of Coach Guymon’s squad every year from D2 onwards, where he was named player of the year in 2015/16 and has continuously elevated his game to prove himself as one of the best guards in the division. With a number of last years squad either retiring or moving on, it was vitally important for Coach Guymon to bring Dadds back in to lead this years team. He added; “Elliot has played such an important part of our senior team’s success over the last 7 years and it is fantastic to have him back with us again. In my opinion he is one of the standout guards in this league, impacting the game at both ends of the floor and doing a number of things that often don’t show up on the box score.” The TSK guard featured in all but one game for club last season across all competitions and posted impressive all round averages of 11.3 ppg, 5.4 apg, 4.9 rpg & 1.7 spg, including a number of 20+ point performances. “I’m very glad to be coming back and having a chance to defend what we won last year. We’ve got a group of guys coming in all with a winning mentality so I’m looking forward to getting started with the new squad.” Commented Elliot on re-signing with Kestrels. You’ll be able to see Dadds in action on Saturday 7th September 2019 when TSK take on Cal Poly (NCAA DI School) in pre season action.
Image Courtesy | Mirror Box Studios
COACH GUYMON ADDS ROOKIE AMERICAN PG TO THE SQUAD
American point guard Ian Smith has inked his first professional deal with Team Solent Kestrels as he commits to the NBL D1 champions for the 2019-20 season. Smith comes fresh from NCAA DII programme, Northern State University, where he has featured for the last four years before graduating with a degree in business. The 5’10 Minnesota native joins TSK from a winning programme in NSU Wolves, where his side would boast a winning record in all four seasons that he played. This included guiding the Wolves to the national championship game in the 2017-18 campaign, where they narrowly fell short 71-69. It was much of the same this previous season for Smith and NSU, as they went 26-7 securing the NSIC tournament title, before being knocked off in the 1st round of the NCAA DII tourney. Kestrels Head Coach, Matt Guymon, was keen to express his excitement in securing the signature of the dynamic play maker; “We are so pleased to bring Ian into the Kestrels Family. I was able to spend some time with Ian this summer and got to see first hand his incredible work ethic and high character, which fits perfect with our culture. On court Ian is an excellent PG who gets the best out of his teammates and most importantly knows how to win. I have no doubt that Ian will become an instant hit with our fan base and I look forward to him making a huge impact in our league.” After serving as a back up in his rookie year at NSU, Ian moved into the driving seat of Coach Paul Sather’s system and that saw his production sky rocket over the following three seasons. He posted averages of 13.7 ppg, 5.5 apg, 5.1 rpg and 0.9 spg through out the 2018-19 season and would take home the NSIC Tournament MVP, as well as back to back NSIC All-First team selections. Coach Guymon’s new floor general commented; “I am extremely excited and proud to join Team Solent Kestrels. After meeting Coach Matt, James and the other staff, I couldn’t be happier to be a part of their winning culture and a great team. I can’t wait to get things started and meet the fans.” Smith will also take advantage of the unique partnership the club has with Solent University, where he will study for his masters degree through-out the coming academic year. That wraps up this weeks player announcements but stayed tuned next week for more coming your way.
Ian Smith with James Matthews in LA
KESTRELS BRING IN OKORONKWO FROM ACROSS THE COAST
Team Solent Kestrels are excited to announce the second of our summer signings, this time a new face to the roster, in Brendan Okoronkwo. The 6’3 guard who originally hails from Milton Keynes will make the move across the south coast to join TSK ahead of the 2019-20 season. After graduating from the University of Worcester, Okoronkwo made the move to Brighton where he has spent the last 6 and a half seasons with the Worthing Thunder. During his time in Sussex he has built this reputation in NBL D1 as one of the best domestic guards. More recently under the new regime in the past two seasons, he has seen his role expand and in turn his production on both ends of the floor has increased drastically. Brendan added this upon signing with TSK for next season; “This is a unique chance for me to join Solent and it was great to hear Coach Matt and Kestrels GM James had mutual interest in bringing me on board this season. The vision the club has, points towards a successful future, the facilities, the squad, the coaching and of course the Kestrels Family/supporters. I’m ready for a new challenge in a new environment and I can’t wait to contribute to a winning culture, so pre season can’t come soon enough.” Okoronkwo, a name the Kestrels Family will have to learn to pronounce from the stands, was influential in Worthing’s success last season, as he helped them to the National Trophy title as well as the Playoff Final, where they’d fall to TSK. Contributing across the board, Brendan posted 13.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.9 apg and 1.6 spg, including a huge 27 point outing against top four finishers Thames Valley Cavaliers. TSK chief play caller Matt Guymon was ecstatic to secure the signing of Brendan and commented; “We are really excited to bring Brendan in for this season, he has been a stand out guard in this league for a number of years now. Building on the success of last season is vitally important for our programme and adding a player of Brendans calibre, who can impact the game in so many ways, is a clear statement of our intentions.” We have one more signing announcement coming for you this week, and you won’t have to wait long as it will be tomorrow and you won’t have to wait long to see the new squad in action as we have some pre season announcements coming your way also next week!
TRAVIS CHARLES RETURNS TO TSK FOR 2019-20 SEASON
Team Solent Kestrels are delighted to announce the return of Playoff Finals MVP, Travis Charles for the 2019-20 Season. The 6’6 forward has put pen to paper on a new one year deal that will see him back on the south coast for another season. Charles returns to Southampton after a stellar first season out of the University at Albany, where he was a lynch pin of the Kestrels front court, leading them to the National Cup Final as well as the NBL D1 league and playoff double. Travis also picked up an NBL Team of the Year selection before being named the MVP of the Playoff Final. The Brooklyn native was extremely excited upon re-signing and added; “I just want to start by thanking God for this opportunity that the management at Kestrels have given me for next season. I can’t wait to get back to work and I look forward to the community support from the Kestrels Family as we look to defend our title.” Travis joined TSK just 6 games into the regular season last year and his impact was felt right away, as he was almost a walking double double. His lowest scoring game being 14 points, showing just how dominant a big man he was at this level. He would finish up the campaign with averages of 23.7 ppg (3rd in the league), 9 rpg (10th in the league) and 2.7 apg, all whilst shooting a hefty 62.4% from the field. Kestrels head coach Matt Guymon gave his thoughts on bringing Charles back to the south coast for a second season; “We are so pleased to bring Travis back for another year. We saw last season that he was one of the most dominant players in the league, impacting the game at both ends of the court. Most importantly Travis is an unbelievable character that our fans love and the energy/passion he plays the game with is vital for our team culture. I can’t wait to have him back in the country and to start building on the success of last year.” Charles is just number one of three player announcements this week, so keep your eyes peeled as we will have our next one coming your way on Thursday! #KestrelsFamily.
NATIONAL CUP FINAL PREVIEW; LOUGHBOROUGH RIDERS VS. TSK
This Sunday sees Team Solent Kestrels head to Essex University Sports Arena to face last years NBL D1 winners Loughborough Riders. Kestrels will feature in their third final in as many seasons, after finishing runners up in 2016/17 in the Cup final before clinching the National Trophy last season in Worcester. Sunday sees the culmination of the National Cup competition with both sides having navigated their way through 4 rounds prior. TSK’s journey started back in October when they played host to a very well oiled D4 outfit, Bristol Hurricanes, who pushed them all the way with Kestrels holding on for a 79-69 victory. The following round presented a long trip north to match up with Team Newcastle who held off Division 2 side Myerscough College, but that would prove to be a non contest as Kestrels dominated from start to finishing running out 94-68 winners. It was another road game in the quarter final but this time in the shape of a much more local challenger, Thames Valley Cavaliers. This one would go all the way with the sides exchanging blows and short runs through out the whole game, however Kestrels rallied late to secure a 4 point victory and booked a semi final spot on the road vs. Essex Leopards. Kestrels weathered a strong third quarter run and eventually blew the game wide open to begin the 4th, securing their spot in Sundays final. TSK’s opponents on Sunday, Loughborough Riders, have risen through the divisions at the exact same rate as Kestrels. From Division 2, and the sides have almost matched either others output in NBL D1 ever since, most recently, both finishing 20-4 at the summit of D1 with Riders pipping Kestrels to the title on head to head points difference. Riders begun their Cup run back in October also as they dispatched D3 North outfit Stoke-on-Trent Knights, 112-79 before they played host to London United who are one of D2’s dark horse teams, loaded with young talent. London would run Riders ever so close matching them blow for blow, but ultimately Loughborough’s quality showed late and they held on for a 78-71 win, booking a quarter final and local derby with Leicester Warriors. The quarter final was something of a non contest as Riders were relatively comfortable throughout, taking a 22 point victory to advance to a semi final with Hemel Storm in a repeat of last years Cup semi final (Where Hemel, the eventual winners, prevailed). This time round Riders welcomed Storm to Loughborough University in a game that went right to the very end. Hemel had found themselves controlling large spells of the game until a late surge from the hosts gave them a chance to win the ball game. Up stepped playmaking guard Alex Roberts and the rest was history as he shot them into the Cup Final, 90-89. The sides have met already earlier this season in Loughborough and it was TSK who came out on top 84-71 in the midst of their 10 game unbeaten start to the regular season. However Riders have found form of late and are right back in the mix in the top 4 with an 8-4 record, whilst TSK currently occupy top spot at 11-2. TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon expressed his excitement ahead of this weekends clash; “I’m proud of the resilience our guys have shown during our cup run with the last 3 games on the road. This is a fantastic achievement for our club and I hope our fans will be able to make the trip to Colchester to create an atmosphere that we see at our home fixtures. We know this is going to be an incredibly tough game against a very well-coached Loughborough side but were looking forward to the challenge.” Elliot Dadds TSK Guard also added this; “Getting to step on the floor for a chance to win silverware is what we are all here for. We’ve been competing against Loughborough for a number of years now and we know that they will be ready for us so we need to make sure we come with the right focus and leave everything out there on the floor.” You can still get hold of your tickets for the supporters coach and the game here; Coach - Contact Matt Bishop - email@example.com
TSK ADD BIG MAN TRAVIS CHARLES ON ROOKIE DEAL
Team Solent Kestrels are excited to announce the addition of Big man Travis Charles to bolster their front line for the season. Travis featured for TSK this weekend as they defeated Worthing Thunder, posting 18 points and 8 rebounds in his first appearance. Charles who hails from Brooklyn, New York, signs his first contract as a rookie out of University at Albany where he spent three years with the NCAA D1 programme after transferring from Howard Community College. After 9 appearances he would sit his first year on medical grounds, on a medical red shirt. The 6’6 forward came storming back into action for the 2016-17 season where he featured 32 times for the Great Danes of the bench averaging 7.9ppg and 3.5 rpg. His senior season would see his biggest contribution as he numbers inflated posting 14.7ppg, 5.7 rpg whilst shooting 56% from the floor. Travis will no doubt bring his physical presence and fantastic character to the programme and he was super excited on signing with the Kestrels. We caught up with him to get his thoughts on signing; “I’m really excited to be here with the squad, I just wanna do what I have to do to help the team win and I feel this is a great opportunity here in Southampton. The guys have welcomed me into the group with open arms and I can’t wait to get started.” Matt Guymon checked in after capturing the signing of Charles, he added; “Travis came highly recommend to us from our contacts in the USA. Firstly he is a person of excellent character with contagious energy and I believe he will instantly be a hit with the fans. From a basketball perspective Travis will give us a physical inside presence with a great ability to score from the post/mid range.”
NICK LEWIS PUTS PEN TO PAPER FOR TSK FOR 2018-19 SEASON
Team Solent Kestrels are excited to announce the signing of Canadian British guard Nick Lewis to bolster their back court for the season. Nick already featured this previous weekend, as he helped TSK secure two important road wins in the league and cup respectively. Lewis joins TSK, having initially signed for Worthing Thunder at the beginning of the season. After his release, Kestrels were able to secure the signature of the 6’3 playmaking guard as a valuable addition to the back court line up. The Toronto native who holds a British passport first came to the UK to ply his trade in the BBL with the Sheffield Sharks, after a stay that spanned across 3 seasons he moved down south to the capital, with the London Lions. Lewis featured 99 times for the Sharks and posted 13.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2 apg and 1.4 spg in his final season before moving on to the Lions. His numbers would continue to grow with his role, as he averaged 14.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.7 apg and 1.5 spg for the London side. After a short break from the professional game, to work on his business venture, Make It Work - http://www.makeitworkglobal.com/#3 Nick returns refreshed and ready to go and he had this to say upon signing with TSK for the season; “I believe I took a big step in the right direction by being able to join the Team Solent Kestrels family. I can’t wait to play in front of our home crowd and get a lot of wins with the team. I already feel at home and I look forward to the rest of season!” TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon gave us his thoughts on Kestrels’ latest swoop; “Nick is without question one of the best guards in the country. He was an immediate fit with our guys when he came down on his visit and we moved quickly to sign him. Nick is a high IQ playmaker who can score in a variety of ways, giving us much needed depth at the guard position.” You can see Nick make his home debut tomorrow evening at Places Leisure Eastleigh as TSK welcome Manchester Magic, 8pm tip off!
KESTRELS ACQUIRE AUSSIE GUARD IN TIME FOR HOME OPENER
Team Solent Kestrels are delighted to announce the signing of Australian guard Brandon Holloway from Goldfields Giants who compete in the State Basketball League down under. The 6’0 play maker joins just in time for Saturday’s match up with Thames Valley Cavaliers where he will go straight into the squad. Holloway plied his trade early on in his career in the South Queensland Basketball where he captained Caboolture Suns before making the switch to Goldfields Giants in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia where he played four seasons as a Giant. Brandon posted all round averages this past season for Goldfields with 10.3ppg, 5.4apg, 3.2rpg in 25 regular season appearances. The Aussie had this to say on his arrival in Southampton; “I really appreciate this opportunity to come to the UK and be apart of this great program. I’ve heard lots of good things about the club, and am looking forward to getting on the court with my new teammates to help the club go as far as possible this season!” Matt Guymon, TSK’s Head Coach also weighed in on acquiring Holloway; “We’re extremely excited to welcome Brandon to the club just in time for our first home opener. He gives us added playmaking ability at the guard spot and has settled in with the group really well. Brandon has a wealth of experience in the tough State Basketball League in Australia so I have no doubt he will make an impact right away.” You don’t have to wait long at all as you can catch Brandon in action for TSK this evening as the Kestrels welcome Thames Valley Cavaliers to Places Leisure Eastleigh for an 8pm tip off, come down support and bring the noise.
TSK ADD BIG MAN SAM TURNER TO THE NEW LOOK ROSTER
As the season draws ever closer Team Solent Kestrels are excited to announce the addition of big man Sam Turner who has recently graduated from NCAA DII programme Emmanuel College in the United States. The 6’8 forward/centre will bring a huge presence to Coach Guymon’s new look TSK side for the upcoming season. Turner, who is a graduate of the Derby Trailblazers junior programme, spent 4 seasons with his college side and made over 75 appearances in a Lions uniform. With his high intensity nature and athletic ability he will no doubt prove a fan favourite from the jump. Sam will also take advantage of the fantastic university link the club has with Solent Uni, where he will study for his masters degree and represent the South Premier BUCS side as they go in pursuit of their first BUCS title after narrowly missing out in the semi finals last season. Upon committing for the season Sam added; “I am grateful to both Matt and James for making this happen and giving me the opportunity. I am excited to play at Solent and will give my all to contribute to the team to realise the ambitions of the club this season.” Coach Matt Guymon also gave his thoughts on bringing Sam to the club; “We are really pleased to have acquired Sam, at 6’8 he brings us a legitimately inside presence that we haven’t had thus far in D1. He is an excellent team guy, with high character and plays with a lot of energy on both ends of the floor. I have no doubt he will make an instant impact for the club both on and off the court.” Sam will go straight into tonights line up as TSK welcome Team USA Select to St. Mary’s Leisure Centre for game number 1 of the pre season schedule. Entry is free and tip off is 7pm!
CAPTAIN KIRKMAN BACK FOR TSK
Team Solent Kestrels club captain Louie Kirkman makes his return to the squad ahead of the new season. Fresh off one of his most successful seasons for the club the hometown hero is back ready to make a push for more silverware. The 6’4 small forward who is another product of the Team Solent Kestrels junior programme has been pivotal in the clubs rise through the tiers over the past 4 seasons and will continue to give the side his toughness and winning mentality. Kirkman captained TSK in their NBL D2 title winning season in 2015/16, before helping them to a 6th place finish on the clubs return to top flight basketball and finally last season an improved 2nd place finish and National Trophy title. Louie has shown his consistent ability to adapt his game at level for the club and this continues to be on of his greater strengths. He expressed his excitement ahead of the new season; “It is an honour to captain the team and I am excited to be leading the squad for another season. We have the core of last year’s team returning and they are a great bunch of guys, the club have also made some strong additions to the group and I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together.” Louie posted averages last season of 10.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg and 1.2 apg whilst shooting an efficient 43.6% from the floor, again showing his all round versatility from the wing. Matt Guymon, TSK’s man in charge also shared his delight at having Kirkman back on board; “I couldn’t be more pleased that our captain, Louie Kirkman, has re signed for this season. He has been with us since our inaugural season and it seems every year he is able to raise his level and adapt his role to what the team needs him to do. He is a fearless competitor and a versatile scorer who I believe can have his best season this year.” Check out Louie’s best bits from last season here; https://youtu.be/rKbGYg1MLoA Remember you can catch the new look TSK side in action this coming Friday 31st August 2018 at St. Mary’s Leisure Centre (7pm Tip) as they play host to Team USA select in the first of three pre season fixtures.
BEN MARANAN RETURNS TO KESTRELS
Team Solent Kestrels are excited to welcome back dynamic guard Ben Maranan as he returns from a stint at the college level in the United States. Ben, a product of Newham Youngbloods junior programme, moved to Southampton in 2015 where he completed a prep year at Itchen College playing in the EABL and NBL D2 for TSK. Ben proved himself as one of the top junior guards in the country during his one year stay at Itchen, leading the team in scoring (18.5 ppg) and to a final fours appearance. During that same season Maranan was a key feature of Coach Guymon’s NBL D2 winning side, playing extended minutes in the rotation as a junior guard. The 6’0 combo guard earned himself a scholarship to Mayville State College (NAIA) in North Dakota for the 2016/17 season where he posted averages of 9.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg & 1.7 apg. Which also included a 22 point season high performance in just under 17 minutes of action vs. Morris. We caught up with Ben on his signing for the new season; “I’m really excited to come back and play under such good coaching staff and join what is an already great programme, in the hope I can help make even more successful. I’m looking forward to what the future will bring with the team this year and just being part of the Kestrels Family once again.” Maranan will also continue his studies at Solent University where he’ll represent the uni in the BUCS South Premier division. TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon gave us his thoughts on bringing Ben back to the club; “We are excited to have Ben back with us this season. He was an instrumental part of our success in our D2 promotion year and I am sure he will have a similar impact this season. Ben is one of the most explosive guards in the U.K with abilities to make plays on the bounce but he is also an excellent 3pt shooter. We look forward to welcoming him back.” You can see the best parts from Ben’s season in the states here; https://youtu.be/YqggZ7utA6U Ben will join up with the team this week as pre season gets underway and you’ll be able to see him in action as the team hit the floor for their first pre season fixture a week today!
TSK CAPTURE SIGNING OF BRITISH GUARD JAMES CHUTE
Team Solent Kestrels are excited to announce another new signing in the form of 6’4 guard James Chute who joins from Italian 4th tier (Serie C) side Club Basket Frascati. The 29 year old has put pen to paper with Kestrels for the 2018-19 season has he makes his return to play on home soil. Chute who grew up in the West Herts Warriors Basketball programme has a wealth of playing experience on the continent having plied his trade for a number of seasons in France, Germany and Italy. He also has a brief spell on his resume in the BBL with now disbanded PAWS London Capitals. James boasts impressive athleticism at the guard spot with the ability to shoot the three and that was what caught the attention of TSK play caller Matt Guymon. “James is a player who came onto our radar 2 years ago and we have closely followed his progress overseas. I think James is a perfect fit for our system as he is a high energy athlete who has the ability to score in a variety of ways. I have no doubt he will be able to make an instant impact for our D1 & BUCS teams.” As well as representing the NBL D1 TSK side, Chute will also feature for the Solent University BUCS squad as he has accepted a scholarship to study for his masters degree through our club link. James joins TSK off of an impressive season with Italian side Frascati, where he contributed across the board to pad the stat sheet with averages of 18.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.8 apg and 1.1 spg. We caught up with the man himself to get his thoughts on signing with TSK; “Coach Guymon first got in contact a couple seasons ago, but the timing was off. Now things have fallen into place, I'm pumped to join the TSK Family. It's been a long off season of workouts so I'm ready to lace them up in the City of Southampton with the rest of the squad. Last season's team set the standard and this year I'm coming in to help build on the culture” Everyone here at the club would like to extend a warm welcome to James and you can catch him in action for the first time in a Kestrels uniform on Friday 31st August 2018 in the first pre season match up vs. Team USA Select (7pm - St. Mary’s Leisure Centre).
ELLIOT DADDS BACK WITH TSK FOR NEW SEASON
Team Solent Kestrels junior product, Elliot Dadds, has committed himself to the squad for the new season in what will be his 4th consecutive with the club. The 6’4 guard and former NBL D2 player of the year makes his return after also accepting a scholarship to study at Solent University for his under graduate degree. ‘Dadds’ as he more commonly known as amongst his team mates and coaching staff, has been a key figure for the club over the past 3 seasons and has grown with the squads rise through the divisions. He has earned himself the reputation as arguably one of the best defenders in the country and has often been the engine for Kestrels defensive intensity. However with that said Elliot showed his all round contribution last season, averaging 9.2 ppg, 4 rpg, 3.2 apg and 1.5 spg. Elliot had this to say on his return; “I’m very excited to play another season with the club, every year I get to step foot on the court is a blessing and I can’t wait to get to work with my team mates old and new to try bring home more silverware. I’m really looking forward to the season being able to go out and compete every week, leaving it all on the floor.” He will be another player to benefit from the clubs partnership with Solent University and will represent them in the BUCS Premier South competition. “Elliot will be with us this year as a scholarship student at Solent University which means he will be able to focus on academics & basketball full time which I think will benefit him greatly as a player. He has been a huge part of our journey from division 3 and I believe he will take his performance to another level this season.” Added TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon. Check out Elliot’s highlights from last season here; https://youtu.be/yvU40UJr9oU Elliot becomes the 5th player to be announced for next seasons roster, stayed tuned to social media all this week for plenty more news!
TSK ACQUIRE AMERICAN JON AVERKAMP OUT OF ST. CLOUD STATE
Team Solent Kestrels have acquired American Forward Jon Averkamp out of St. Cloud State University on his first professional contract. The 6’6 forward joins the Kestrels on the back of a 4 year NCCA DII college career where he played over 85 games for his school. Averkamp helped lead his side to a 24-9 record last season whilst posting his best numbers of his college career averaging 17.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.5 apg and 1.1 spg, all whilst shooting an impressive 61% from the field. This was enough to earn a 6th seed at the NCAA DII Tournament where they made it to the 2nd round before losing out narrowly to eventual runners up Northern State. The dynamic forward also picked up NSIC All Conference 1st team accolades and All District 2nd team selection. “I can’t wait to get over to England and get started with my new team. I feel very fortunate to be able to have the opportunity to join the team after what they accomplished last year and I hope we are able to build on that for this upcoming season.” He commented upon signing. As well as suiting up for TSK in NBL D1 Averkamp will also feature for the BUCS side in South Premier action, whilst studying on scholarship for his masters at Solent University. Kestrels Head Coach Matt Guymon gave us his thoughts on securing the signing; “We are very excited to have Jon join the Kestrel family for his first overseas opportunity. Jon comes highly recommended after a fantastic college career in the USA. He is a high IQ guy that is able to score in a variety of ways and at 6’6 he is able to defend multiple positions whilst giving us a real presence in the paint.” Jon becomes the 4th signee for the new season joining Chris Scarlett, Herm Senor II and Tayo Oyefusi as the roster begins to take shape. Stay tuned all this week for signing news coming your way. You can check out Jon’s highlights from last season here; https://youtu.be/_WJim_nITFU
FLOOR GENERAL HERM SENOR II RETURNS TO THE SOUTH COAST
Team Solent Kestrels are ecstatic to announce the return of American point guard Herman Senor II ahead of the 2018-19 season. The play making floor general has put pen to paper on a new one year deal that will see him lead TSK for a second straight season. Herm joined TSK last year for his rookie professional season fresh from NCAA D2 Quincy University and instantly staked his claim as one of the best players in NBL D1, including an MVP performance for the ages vs. Team Northumbria in the National Trophy final. Along with the National Trophy title, Senor II helped guide Kestrels to a semi final cup spot and a runners up position in NBL D1 in only the clubs 2nd season in the top tier of the NBL. Along side TSK, the 5’11 point guard was also able to take advantage of our ever growing partnership with Solent University where he studied on scholarship for his Masters in Business whilst representing the BUCS team. We caught up with Herm to get his thoughts on re-signing and the season ahead; “I am looking forward to a second year with the club. We have a great core of guys returning and we will look to build off of last years success. We are heading into the season proven as a team so we must work hard in preseason to find our stride early and to keep getting better as the season progresses.” Senor II was a constant in most statistical categories last season posting averages of 17.2 ppg, 6.1 apg, 4.8 rpg and 2 spg, all whilst shooting 41.5% from the floor. TSK play caller Matt Guymon shared his excitement on Herm’s return; “Herm was the first player we went after in the summer as we knew we had something very special. In my opinion he was the league MVP last year and seeing his confidence grow each week was a pleasure to watch. It’s not often players of his calibre continue to improve at the rate he showed last season. He will be the engine to our team and an extension of the coaching staff on the floor but without question Herm has even more to offer this year.” If you need to remind yourselves just how exciting a player Herm was last season then you can check out his highlights here; https://youtu.be/ixFHQY8C8lg And you catch Senor II and his new team-mates in pre season action on Friday 31st August 2018 as they take on Team USA Select at 7pm - St. Mary’s Leisure Centre.
OYEFUSI RE UPS WITH TSK FOR THE NEW SEASON
Former National Cup winner, NBL D1 Champion and current National Trophy champ, Tayo Oyefusi has re-signed with Team Solent Kestrels ahead of this coming season extending his stay for a further year. Tayo made the move down south last season from now disbanded Team Northumbria and his winning mentality carried over right away, helping TSK reach the semi finals of the national cup, finish runners up in NBL D1 and be crowned the National Trophy champions, all in a seasons work. The 6’4 forward will look to build on last year success and will no doubt draw on his wealth of playing experience at this level having featured previously in NBL D1 for Magic, Spinners, Team Newcastle and Team Northumbria. TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon was glad to secure the services of Oyefusi for a second term and heres what he had to say; “Tayo is first and foremost a winner, doing all the small unselfish parts of the game to ensure his team is successful. We are so pleased to have him return to Southampton for this coming season. Without question he is one of the leagues best defenders but we will look to Tayo this year to be more of a scoring contributor which I know he is more than capable of being for us. Tayo posted averages of 4.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.6 apg and 1.2 spg during the 2017/18 season, further pointing to his willingness to win contributing across the board where ever necessary. Upon signing for his 2nd season with the Kestrels Tayo added; “I’m delighted to have signed for another year. The Kestrel’s have a fantastic community of players, coaches, fans and volunteers and I’m honoured to still be a part of it. It almost feels like unfinished business, last year we got a taste of silverware and I’m excited to meet up with my teammates and coaching staff and prepare to win some more.” You can check out Tayo’s highlights from last season here; https://youtu.be/VlP8danbMy8 In the mean time as ever stay locked to our social media platforms and make sure you are following us to get all the latest information on upcoming player signings! Twitter - @SolentKestrels Instagram - @solent_kestrels Facebook - Team Solent Kestrels
CHRIS SCARLETT BACK IN TOWN FOR THE NEW SEASON
Team Solent Kestrels are excited to announce the return of Chris Scarlett for his 4th season with the NBL D1 Men’s team. Scarlett becomes the first name from last seasons Trophy winning and league runners up squad to put pen to paper for the 2018/19 season. The 5’11 sharpshooter has been a huge part of Coach Guymon’s sides over the last 3 seasons helping TSK clinch the D2 title in 2015/16, a 6th place finish in the clubs first year in NBL D1 and a runners up spot last time out. In the process Chris has proven himself to be one of the better shooters in the country knocking down no less than 37 triples last season on 33.3% from 3. Scarlett is a product of the well established TSK junior programme and upon graduating the programme he spent time at Garrett College in the USA before returning home to join the senior side. Kestrels Head Coach Matt Guymon spoke of his delight at bringing Chris back into the squad for the new season; "I am so pleased to have Chris back for another season. Not only is he one of the best shooters in the league, he is also a fearless competitor and an ultimate team first player. I know that Chris has put in a lot of work this off-season and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has his best season yet for the Kestrels. It is always important to keep a core group of players together where possible and Chris is most definitely part of that group.” The 3 point maestro contributed 6.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg and shot a little over 35% form the field all in just 15.1 minutes per game last season. On numerous occasions he tallied over 3 triples providing a constant threat from beyond the arc. Chris had this to say on his re-signing; “I am very excited to play again this season and with the core group of guys we have managed to bring back from last season I know we can improve on what we managed to accomplish the club last time around. I am really looking forward to getting the season underway and the challenges that will face us." Stay tuned to our Instagram (@solent_kestrels) and Twitter (@SolentKestrels) for all the latest signing news throughout the coming weeks! Check out Chris’ 2017/18 Season Highlights here; https://youtu.be/T89LPfHCfz4
KESTRELS ADD GUARD EYNON TO THEIR RANKS FOR REST OF SEASON
Team Solent Kestrels are excited to announce the signing of 6’0 Guard Jake Eynon from NCAA Division 2 school Texas A&M International Dustdevils. Jake signs for the rest of the season and will go straight into the line up for the Hemel Storm game on Sunday 7th January 2018 in the new year. The signing will bolster Kestrels already impressive guard line up as TSK look to keep their NBL D1 title hopes going strong. Jake originally from Ipswich grew up in the Ipswich Basketball Academy at Copleston High School before venturing out to the states where he started his college career. He attended Jacksonville College and played at the JUCO level for two years whilst obtaining his associates degree before transferring to D2 programme Texas A&M International. Whilst at Texas A&M Eynon played in 53 games over two seasons, including a 23 point, 7 three pointer performance vs. University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. The exciting guard had this to say on signing with TSK; “Coming back from playing 4 years in the NCAA, Team Solent was the perfect situation for me to come in half way through the season. I met up with the coaching staff and some of the team during the summer and it felt like a great professional situation for me to start my career.” Matt Guymon, Team Solent Kestrels Head Coach also weighed in on the signing; “I think Jake will be a big addition for us moving forward as he is an excellent shooter & playmaker on the bounce. He comes highly recommended from all his former coaches as a true competitor with a team first mentality.” You can check out Jake’s most recent highlights here; https://youtu.be/rhbh8k_fg6I
THREE MORE ADDITIONS TO THE SQUAD FOR THE NEW SEASON
Team Solent Kestrels are delighted to announce three more additions to this seasons squad by way of a new signing, a player making the jump from our programmes D3/BUCS team and a former junior returnee. First up is Josh Brown a 6’5 stretch four who has been with Worthing Thunder since his junior days, and he makes the shift across the south coast for the new season. Josh averaged 8.3 PPG, 3.6 RPG & 1.1 SPG last season for the Sussex outfit on 33.2% from the field. He will also feature for Southampton Solent University BUCS Premier South team, as he begins to study his degree, again another sign that the club and university partnership is moving from strength to strength. Brown had this to say on his south coast switch; “I can’t wait to get started with a new group of guys, it’s a new situation for me and change of system which I am really looking forward to having played for the same team for a number of years. I think with the guys coach Guymon has brought in we can really compete this season and I look forward to playing my part.” Next up is a guy who makes the jump from TSK II - NBL Division 3 side, Kalvin Anns, the 6’5 swingman impressed through-out last season and Head Coach Matt Guymon was keen to involve Anns in this seasons NDL D1 side. Kalvin who also studies at Solent University, captained last years BUCS side to another Final Eight’s appearance where they would fall to eventual finalists Team Northumbria and pick up a huge win over Basketball powerhouse programme University of Worcester. Kalvin gave his thoughts on making the jump to the D1 squad; “I’m really looking forward to playing D1 this year as it’s a new challenge and standard for me and with a new group of guys. The season will no doubt be a tough test but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’m hoping to bring a defensive presence and energy into every practice and game and make the most of this opportunity.” Last but by no means least, Kestrels welcome back Theo King, the sharpshooting guard returns from a prep year out in the states where he attended Arlington Country Day prep school. Theo has grown up playing at all age groups for Team Solent Kestrels junior teams and he also featured heavily during the clubs successful promotion campaign in NBL D2 whilst leading the EABL in 3pt FG% (44.4%) for 2015-16 season. He also finished 7th in PPG and APG with 17.8 PPG and 4 APG on Itchen’s way to the Final Four. Again Theo will now suit up for the NBL D1 side as well as the BUCS university team as he begins his degree course with Solent University. The 6’3 guard commented; “I’m excited and extremely grateful to be welcomed back to the club where it all started for me and am eager to get the season up and running so we can look to improve on last year. I’m pleased to see a nice core group return as well a great variety of new faces, I’m just all round excited to get on the floor with the group and be back being coached by some of the best coaches in the game that helped me develop to this point.” Kestrels Head Coach Matt Guymon gave his thoughts on all three guys signing with the Kestrels; “Josh has consistently proven himself at the D1 level the past four seasons, he will be an excellent addition to our team with his ability to stretch the floor at the 4 position and fits our style of play perfectly. Kalvin has had two great years representing the university and D3 team, we felt like this year was the right time for him to make the jump to the D1 level. His toughness defensively and ability to knock the three ball down with be a huge asset for us this season. Finally we are excited to welcome Theo back to the club as he is a home grown talent who has given so much to our program. Theo brings consistent high energy on and off the floor in practice and games and he will help us spread the floor with his shooting range.” All three guys have suited up through Kestrels pre season and two National Trophy fixtures, your next opportunity to catch them in action will be Saturday 14th October 2017 when TSK welcome Worthing Thunder back to Fleming Park Leisure Centre for first HOME league fixture and will be a 7pm tip off. Kestrels beat Thunder last time out 107-85 in the National Trophy and you can watch all the best bits here; https://youtu.be/bCzb-V73lzQ
LEAGUE & CUP CHAMPION TAYO OYEFUSI JOINS KESTRELS
Current NBL Division 1 & National Cup Champion, Tayo Oyefusi, has made the move down south from Newcastle, to suit up for the Kestrels for the 2017-18 season. Tayo featured for the league champions Team Northumbria during last season’s campaign and was also an influential part of their success in the national cup competition. The 6’4 Forward brings a wealth of experience at the National League level across all divisions, where he has featured for Manchester Magic, Team Newcastle University, Lancashire Spinners and Team Northumbria. If one things for sure Tayo has that winning mentality with a number of promotions and league/cup titles under his belt. Upon signing with TSK, Oyefusi commented; “I’m delighted to have signed with a great club with such high ambition. I’m also excited to get out and perform in front of the fantastic fan base here at Team Solent Kestrels. The club has worked hard across the off season to put together a squad that can really compete for silverware and I’m looking forward to the challenge!” Tayo averaged 7.7 PPG, 6.5 RPG and 1.3 APG all whilst shooting 48% from the floor and continuously filling the box score last season. “Tayo is a player we have been following for 3 seasons now and it's amazing to see how his game has developed over this time. He is a dynamic player that will give us a lot of flexibility with how we can play at both ends of the floor. The biggest thing for me is that Tayo is a team first guy, an excellent teammate and committed to the small details that make teams successful.” Added Head Coach Matt Guymon. Catch Tayo and the squad in their first action at Fleming Park (Saturday 16th September 2017) in the National Trophy vs. Worthing Thunder, 7pm tip off.
CAPTAIN KIRKMAN RETURNS FOR THE KESTRELS 2017-18 CAMPAIGN
Team Solent Kestrels captain Louie Kirkman returns to the squad hungry for more ahead of the 2017-18 season. The hometown small forward has been a major factor in the Kestrels success over the last few season and will be keen to continue his pursuit of silverware at the Division 1 level. Kirkman, a product of the club’s junior program spent a season in Iceland back in 2011/12 before returning to the club and playing a pivotal role in the rise through the divisions. The 6’5 Kestrels stalwart captained the side to back to back promotions including, two league titles and two playoff finals appearances, before helping the side to a 6th place finish in the club’s inaugural division 1 campaign. TSK play caller Matt Guymon gave his thoughts on the re-signing; “It's fantastic to have Louie back this season as he has been instrumental to our success the last 5 years. He is an unbelievable competitor who fills the stat sheet night after night. Each year he has been able to adapt his game to the raised level of competition & I’m excited to see what he can do in his 2nd season in D1. The versatile wing contributed across the board last season, posting averages of; 13.3 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.2 APG, 1.2 SPG and 46% from the field. “Last year was a great first season in division one and I'm really excited to see what we can do this season. We've got a strong looking squad and I really think we can make a strong push for silverware this season.” Commented Kirkman upon his re-signing. Remember to pencil Saturday 16th September 2017 in the diary, 7pm @ Fleming Park Leisure Centre, when Kestrels host Worthing Thunder in the first game of the season in the National Trophy.
LEON HENRY SWAPS STORM FOR KESTRELS FOR 2017-18 SEASON
Former Hemel Storm and Leicester Warriors guard, Leon Henry becomes Team Solent Kestrels’ fifth signing of the summer ahead of the new campaign. Leon featured heavily for the Hertfordshire outfit last season and joins the Kestrels with two excellent seasons of production at the NBL D1 level under his belt. “Leon impressed me in both our outings against Hemel last season with his high energy & explosively quick style of play. He excels in transition but is also a consistent outside threat that can play a number of positions and our staff are really looking forward to working with him this season.” Were the thoughts of Head Coach Matt Guymon. The 6’2 guard will look to build on his 10.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG and 2.1 APG averages from last season as he joins TSK’s backcourt for 2017-18. Upon signing with Kestrels Leon had this to say; “I’m really excited to be apart of such a successful club as Solent. Having played against the guys in previous seasons, Solent was always a club I could see myself being a part of in the future. The future is here and I can’t wait to get my hands dirty with the team in what I look forward to being a bright 2017-18 campaign for us. Catch Leon and the rest of the team in action in their first outing of the season in the National Trophy – Saturday 16th September 2017 when they host Worthing Thunder, 7pm @ Fleming Park Leisure Centre.
HERM SENOR II TAKES THE REINS FOR KESTRELS
We are delighted to announce Herm Senor II as our second American signing of the summer, the Quincy University graduate will join former college team mate Joe Tagarelli on the floor for the Kestrels this season. “I’m very excited to get over to the UK and start playing with the team. The experience will be great and is a once in a lifetime opportunity! It’s truly a blessing to further my career as well as my education with the Kestrels, all whilst being in a new country.” Senor, a 5’11 Point Guard who hails from Springfield, IL spent four years at Quincy University where he would most recently take his team to the 2nd round of the NCAA DII Tournament finishing with a record of 25-7 on the year. He was able to contribute in an number of areas for the Hawks with 11.6 PPG, 6.4 APG, 3.2 RPG, 1.4 SPG and all combined with shooting 38% from beyond the arc. Again, with the Team Solent Kestrels and Southampton Solent University partnership continuing to blossom, Herm will also have the opportunity to obtain his masters degree and feature for the BUCS team at the university in doing so. Team Solent Kestrels Head Coach Matt Guymon expressed his excitement in securing the services of Senor; “Herm stood out to us from the early footage we saw of his time at Quincy University, where you could see straight away that he is a true point guard that brings the best out of his teammates. He is a player of extremely high character and we look forward to welcoming him to our Kestrels family.” If you don’t want to wait until the first game of the season, you can take a look at Herm’s highlights from his time at Quincy University here; https://youtu.be/oQTFC79h8BU Team Solent Kestrels vs. Worthing Thunder (National Trophy) – Saturday 16th September 2017 [7pm Tip Off @ Fleming Park Leisure Centre]
SHARPSHOOTING CHRIS SCARLETT RE UPS FOR NEW SEASON
Sharpshooting guard Chris Scarlett returns to the Kestrels for the 2017-18 season, in what will be his third season since rejoining the club on his return from the US. Scarlett, a product of the Team Solent Kestrels junior program, has featured heavily for Coach Guymon’s side during the previous two seasons providing a constant threat from beyond the arc. Upon his return from Garrett College stateside, Chris helped the Kestrels take the NBL Division 2 crown and clinch promotion to NBL Div. 1 with some stand out performances down the stretch against promotion rivals London Greenhouse Pioneers and Loughborough Student Riders. Head Coach Matt Guymon stressed the importance of having Chris back in the side for next season and had this to say; "It's great to have Chris back for another season. He has been a huge part of our success the last few years with his ability to make big plays on both ends of the floor." Chris heads back to the side on the back of averaging a little under 7 PPG in just under 20 minutes of action whilst also contributing 1.6 APG and 2.3 RPG. The 6’0 guard was also keen to express his excitement ahead of the coming season; “I’m really looking forward to another season in D1, we showed last year that we can compete with anyone in the country at this level and hopefully we can go one better in picking up some silverware this season. It was an easy decision for me to return to the club and play under Coach Guymon for an another season and I can’t wait to get on the floor with the guys.” Stay tuned to our Instagram (@solent_kestrels) and Twitter (@SolentKestrels) for the all the latest signing news!
JOE TAGARELLI BECOMES FIRST NEW FACE FOR 2017-18 SEASON
Former Quincy University Hawks stand out and Wisconsin native Joseph Tagarelli, has put pen to paper for Team Solent Kestrels for the 2017-18 season. The 6’5 forward who was named to the GLV all conference 1st team after the 2016-17 season becomes the first new face to join the Kestrels squad for the new campaign. Joe joins the Kestrels on the back of two stellar seasons at QU where they would finish up 25-7 overall on the year last season and bow out of the NCAA DII Tournament in the 2nd round. Posting a team high 19.8 PPG in a little under 28 minutes a game, whilst averaging 8.2 RPG and shooting over 55% form the field was what caught the attention of the Kestrels coaching staff. The Kestrels & Southampton Solent University partnership continues to thrive as Joe will also study for his master’s degree during his time with the Kestrels, featuring for the BUCS South Premier side. Joe had this to say ahead of his move to the UK; “I’m excited to be given this opportunity to play with a great organisation and great people. I think we have a real shot at competing for silverware and I can’t wait to touch down and get to work.” Team Solent Kestrels Head Coach Matt Guymon also added; “Joe will be a great addition for us, we are very excited to have him join our club and university programs. He comes highly recommended after a great NCAA career and I have no doubt that he will make a huge impact in this league” You can take a look at some of Joe’s highlights here; www.youtube.com/watch?v=oofnAielu0c