Tenacious Will making a return

Fan-favourite guard Will Ashby is returning for another season with Hemel Storm.
Fan-favourite guard Will Ashby is returning for another season with Hemel Storm.

Hemel Storm confirmed two further names to their squad on Saturday ahead of the NBL upcoming season.

The club said they were delighted to confirm the return of a fan-favourite from last season’s team as well as an exciting new face for the 2019/20 Division One NBL campaign, which gets under way next month.

Will Ashby, who last term was voted as The Storm Troopers’ Player of the Season, has committed to play for his second year with the club.

The 6ft 1ins former London Lion and Essex Leopard shooting guard proved to be an accurate three-point shooter last season but was perhaps best-known for his strong defensive play.

Storm said: “We are really pleased that Will be re-joining the team for the 2019/2020 season.

“He provided a great outside threat last year and consistently demonstrated his ability to play relentless defence on the opponents’ best player.

“The Storm fans will continually get to witness one of the most experienced and competitive guards in the NBL.”

Ashby suffered a horrific injury in Storm colours last season and the team greatly missed his presence in games and at practice.

A complete season with a fully-fit Ashby will be a great boost for the roster.

Ashby will be joining three other players from last season’s squad who have already committed to another season, captain Bode Adeluola, sharp-shooter Jack Burnell and seven-footer centre Lee Hodges [previously Greenan].

Jake Murphy, who competed for Greenwich Titans last term in NBL Division Two, is the new face being added to the ranks.

The 6ft 5ins forward averaged 20.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 2018/19 and regularly performed at a high level.

In a game against London United he scored 36 points and pulled down nine boards, but arguably his most notable performance came against newly-promoted Liverpool when he finished with 26 points and seven rebounds.

As the Gazette reported a fortnight ago, Storm will have a new head coach this year following Robert Youngblood’s departure.

Rikki Broadmore, who is regarded as one of the best up-and-coming coaches in the country, has been brought in as the new head coach.

Youngblood resigned in June after two years at the helm, where he took Storm to National Cup success and the and league play-off final in 2018.

Broadmore has earned numerous honours over the last ten years as a head coach at junior level and as an assistant for senior teams.

Michael Darlow has been appointed as the new assistant player/coach.

Meanwhile, the club have confirmed that Storm will be playing in the Howell Shield Tournament as part of their pre-season campaign.

The elite tournament, which is being organised by the Hertfordshire Basketball Association and Basketball England, is held in memory of former referee and FIBA commissioner Mick Howell.

Storm will be playing in the competition for the first time and all of their new signings are expected to be on show for the first time.

The tournament will run from Friday, August 30, until Sunday, September 1, at Wodson Park Leisure Centrev in Ware.