Jermel Kennedy becomes the seventh signing for new head coach Marc Steutel’s revived Newcastle Eagles roster.
The striker last played in the BBL in 2017 for Worcester Wolves before moving to Portugal in November of that year.
“I can say I’m really excited to be going back to England,” Kennedy said. “I’ve heard good things about this club as I know a few former players and they’ve only said good things about the organization.
“The Eagles broke my heart a few times when I was here in 2016-17, so I know the championship-caliber approach that comes with representing this prestigious team.”
The 6’7″ returns to the UK with a wealth of experience after spells in France, Argentina, Mozambique and his native Canada since leaving Wolves.
“I’m delighted to now bring a lot of my experience to the table and hopefully that will translate into wins and championships,” added the striker.
“Playing and already living in England before will definitely help me move forward given that I already have experience with the league as well, I don’t think I will have any problems adapting.”
“I believe the experiences I’ve had since leaving Worcester have shaped me tremendously and my outlook on life is so different now, especially from a basketball perspective.
Kennedy averaged 12.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.6 steals per game, with Worcester showing his versatility and all-around game that should serve the Eagles well.
“I can’t wait to meet the group and share what I’ve learned over the years,” continued the British Canadian.
“I’ve spoken to Coach and he knows me from my time here and also how I play. He thinks I’m going to fit in well with his way of looking at the game and he’s looking for me to be a vocal leader and just bring the energy and the presence he is used to seeing from me.
“I’m looking to bring a lot of my leadership qualities to this team. We have a young group other than Ben and Darius so I think they will be on the same page.
“I know the recipe for winning and the length of the season and I will make it my business to find ways for us to succeed.
“Staying locked in, focused, in addition to taking care of your body and being consistent tends to be hard things at first, especially when everything is new.
“I’ve done this more than ten times now, so hopefully I’m a guy the team trusts to ask for advice.
“My hopes are to win as much as possible in the BBL. I think you have four opportunities to get material and I want all four.
Kennedy’s deep resume will be key as Steutel builds a new Eagles squad that will face both BBL and international opposition in pre-season next month.
“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Jermel to the Eagles,” Steutel said. “Securing his services for this season was a priority and I’m glad we were able to do that.
“I believe Jermel’s qualities, skills and experience will be the perfect addition to our roster. He is extremely talented; he has a high basketball IQ and is very versatile.
“Throughout his career he has demonstrated his ability to impact the game on both sides of the pitch in a variety of ways that lead to victory. He knows the league and the challenges we face and is looking forward to ‘go.
“Jermel will play a pivotal role providing veteran leadership alongside some of our other senior players.”
Fresh off the back of a season in the CEBL of Canada for the Newfoundland Growlers, Kennedy flies to Tyneside fit and ready to hit the court at Vertu Motors Arena.
The Eagles have a busy warm-up schedule starting with Surrey Scorchers on September 9-10.
Tickets for the club’s biggest selection of pre-season games are available now at newcastle-eagles.com/boxoffice.