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Cummings coming with the Essex Leopards
THE Essex Leopards are back in Basildon this weekend. The Big Cats host the Medway Park Crusaders in the National Trophy at the Sporting Village on Sunday.
And the game will give Leopards fans a chance to see new signing Simon Cummings in action.
The American point guard turned down two British Basketball League sides to join the Essex outfit and the club’s managing director Gareth Roberts is sure Cummings will be a big success.
“We’re delighted to have signed Simon because he’s someone we’ve been following for a while now,” he said.
“There were four clubs in for him, including two from the BBL, but our coach Robert Youngblood met with him face to face and was able to sort out a deal.
“He will play this weekend and we think he will make a big difference to the team.
“In our last game against Tees Valley Mohawks we were punished for making too many turnovers, but having Simon in should stop that going on.”
Cummings, who scored 16 points for the Leopards in their 68-66 defeat in a friendly against NASSA, will make his competitive Leopards debut when they host Brixton Topcats at the Brentwood Centre on Friday night.
He will then also line up in Basildon on Sunday and Roberts is hoping he will be greeted by a big crowd.
“We had a good response from playing in Basildon last season and we have three times as many games there this year,” said Roberts.
“We want the crowds to keep building so we can become even bigger in this area and hopefully there will be a big attendance for the game on Sunday.
“We’ve put a good squad together again this year and hope to be able to retain the three trophies we won last year.
“We also want to try and win the trophy and with that in mind it would be great to get two big wins this weekend.”
The game will be a quick return to the Sporting Village for Crusaders as they were the last team to visit Basildon last term.
Leopards produced a dominant display that afternoon to win 93-75 in the play-off quarter-final and will be hoping for more of the same this weekend.
The match tips off at 4pm with ticket prices set at £6 adults, £4 concessions and £16 for a two adult, two junior family ticket.