Darius Defoe delivers the slam dunk of experience, leadership and proven success that can drive a bold new era for Newcastle basketball.
That’s the verdict from playmaker Marc Steutel after the Eagles head coach secured one of his top summer goals.
Defoe will wear the men in black for a record 19th consecutive season after the league’s most successful player signs a new contract with Newcastle.
“I’m absolutely thrilled,” said a delighted Steutel. “Amazingly, after all this time, Darius is still one of the most underrated players in BBL, but I don’t know why.
“He is as motivated as ever and wants to be an integral part of what we are trying to build here in terms of the next phase of the club and its new direction.
“From my point of view, it was absolutely essential that we retain the services of Darius and this is an extremely positive decision.
“He’s someone I’ve known and admired for many years and relish the opportunity to work with him on a daily basis.
“I can’t wait to see Darius make a major impact this season on and off the pitch as a player and as a leader.”
Defoe has won full BBL honors on several occasions and holds the record for the league’s most decorated star with a sensational 27 trophies to his name.
The 37-year-old is a man from a club who were recognized for his years of service to the North East when he received Sport Newcastle’s highest honor in 2021, and Steutel sees Defoe as the glue that will hold them together. a new composition. bid to bring the Eagles back to their place.
“Darius has an extremely high basketball IQ and he never stopped learning,” the Newcastle head coach added.
“He continues to evolve as a player and he’s been working hard every day this summer to make sure he starts the season with a bang.
“I’m building an exciting team with different players at different stages of their careers, but the one constant is Darius.
“He will enjoy the challenge of putting this list together and making sure every player understands their role and knows what needs to be done on the pitch.
“Darius brings such a hard-to-find professionalism and experience to the team and I’m thrilled to have him back as an Eagle.”
Defoe made 27 league appearances last season, averaging nine points, three rebounds and two assists per game, and such is his consistency and quality the fan favorite has only dipped below 25 appearances in the Championship only once in his 18 seasons at Tyneside.
“Newcastle is my home and this club is my place,” Defoe said. “This is a critical time in Eagles history and I am more motivated than ever to play my part in the next chapter of an incredible story.
“I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us under Coach Steutel and I’m confident we will achieve great things together.
“Right now I’m focusing on getting in shape for pre-season and making sure to set a good example for the newcomers coming in.”
Newcastle Eagles 2022-23 BBL season tickets are still available at the box office where the home opener at the end of September is selling out fast.