ESSEX Leopards’ guard Ish Fontaine is slowly warming to playing at Southend’s Garon Park and is looking forward to heading back there this Sunday.

The Big Cats return to town to take on the Tees Valley Mohawks.

And Fontaine is desperate to come out on top.

“At first I wasn't a fan of playing in Southend as the rims felt a bit high and the atmosphere was different but after we beat Hemel there it's become a second home for us,” said the 24-year-old.

“I’m actually looking forward to being back there and hope we can get a good result.”

Leopards head in to the game sitting fourth in Division One of the English Basketball League, ahead of the Mohawks in eighth.

But Fontaine is still expecting a tough test against the Mohawks having been beaten by them in the National Trophy earlier on this season.

“Mohawks are a very fast volume shooting team with two man scorers,” said Fontaine.

“They're record of seven wins and six defeats suggests that they are a bit inconsistent but those mid table teams are always dangerous.

“We certainly can't afford to look at their record and take them lightly.”

Leopards also travel to Worthing Thunder on Saturday night before coming back to Southend.

And that game is likely to see new signing Andre Lockhart in action for the first time after the guard saw his flight from Germany cancelled last weekend.

His arrival will strengthen the Big Cats and Fontaine is certain the team will enjoy a successful end to the season.

“The league and the play-offs are coming home to Essex,” said Fontaine.

“That’s always on my mind and all we want to do is win everything that’s in front of us.

“The starters and the bench guys are playing great team ball and everyone is healthy which is always a bonus.”

Sunday’s match tips off at 4pm and tickets are available on the door or visit for more details.