Hemel Storm have announced that skipper Bode Adeluola as well as some other familiar faces will be returning for the upcoming 2018/19 season.
Recovered from injuries and surgery that kept him out of action for the 2016/17 term, Storm’s dynamic captain has confirmed that he will be back for another season in Hemel’s back court.
He returned in 2017/18 as one of the classiest guards in National League Division One, and can both score and distribute the ball with aplomb.
The club said on Twitter: “At times one of the most unstoppable and exciting players in the league, Bode has become a leading performer in the top flight.”
The club made the announcement on Sunday.
Recapturing Adeluola will be key to keeping Hemel as a competitive force this season, which re-starts on Saturday, September 8, with a pre-season friendly against a Team USA Select touring side.
Their first competitive fixture then takes place on Saturday, September 22, in the National Trophy when Thames Valley Cavaliers visit Hemel Hempstead Leisure Centre.
Every good team needs an effective point-man marshalling the offense and Adeluola will be able to keep Hemel in the mix for honours in 2018/19.
Under head coach Robert Youngblood, last season saw Hemel win their first national silverware for six years when they lifted the National Cup in January and they then went on to reach the league playoff final in April when they just came up short against Worthing Thunder.
Also re-joining the side for the new season is crowd favourite Michael Darlow.
The 6ft 6ins forward is now the club’s longest-serving player, entering his eighth campaign.
Darlow, an aggressive rebounder and defender, came through the club’s former junior programme and became a starter last season.
Another familiar name returning is Tom Adorian, the 6ft 9ins former Scottish international.
He will be playing his seventh season with Storm and had a productive 2017/18 campaign.
The club said: “Tom takes an extremely professional approach to everything in terms of physical and skill preparaations. His work ethic is second to none.”
On Monday the club then confirmed two new signings.
Elliott Sentance has an impressive international background, having represented England at under-16s and under-18s level before being selected for the Great Britain under-20s squad.
The 6ft 5ins forward, who played college basketball in Canada, was at fellow National League Division One outfit Leicester Warriors last season.
He will be another inside/outside threat for Storm and brings an all-round game to the line-up.
Blayne Freckleton is an exciting 6ft 2ins guard who is known for consistently making big plays.
He joins Storm having played in the BBL and was a member of the 2016/17 Team Northumbria league and cup double-winning squad.
He’s an accurate three-point shooter and is also dangerous when driving to the hoop. The club is also impressed by his leadership qualities.
However, not returning this season will be Walid Mumuni. After five seasons at the club, the forward has decided to move on.
On Facebook, he said: “I have nothing but love for all of the people who have coached me, supported the team and organised everything both on and off the court. There are very few clubs in the country that are consistent and professional in the way that Hemel Storm are.”