The Manchester Giants have completed the signings of North West based young duo Joe Heyes and Charlie Britton as they continue their preparations for the new season.
The signings of Heyes and Britton are a strong indicator that the Giants are committed to following the philosophy set by Head Coach Danny Byrne and the club in general that they will give opportunities to local young players.
Heyes and Britton will be learning from extremely experienced players including Lyle Hexom, Breaon Brady and Sam Cassell Jr, plus fellow North West natives David Ulph and Jack Hudson.
Academy to the BBL
Britton, a 20-year-old ex Charnwood Riders Academy star, played in the Oklahoma OnPoint Academy programme last year, but has returned to the UK.
During his time at Charnwood, 6'6" forward Britton put up an average of six points, three rebounds, one steal and one assist as the Charnwood Riders won the Elite Academy Basketball League in 2019.
Heyes, an 18-year-old guard, played academy basketball for Myerscough in the EABL, averaging two points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals during his time there.
The 6'4" starlet also played last year for Myerscough in National Basketball League Division 3, where he made quite the impression as a young player.
Hard work ahead
Speaking to the Manchester Giants website, Head Coach Danny Byrne knows that there is hard work ahead for both of his new signings, but regular BBL minutes aren't out of the question.
“I have coached Charlie as a young player in North West squads, and was a coach at another club where Joe was a junior, so I have always kept an eye on them both as some of the leading young talents in the North West," said Byrne.
“Joe is an efficient and versatile guard, who has stayed local to his hometown area to play all of his basketball at a great level.
He plays smart at both ends of the floor, and has already demonstrated that he can score well in both junior and senior basketball.
“Charlie has taken a different path, having a stint overseas and playing for elite teams here, including the winners of the EABL as part of an excellent Riders programme.
He is a forward who combines physicality with a very good skillset, including a great shooting stroke and effective outside shot, and great vision for a pass.
“Both know that they will have a lot of work ahead of them to earn BBL minutes, but we can give them a great opportunity to do so and to learn alongside a talented group of established pros.
“We want to demonstrate that we have a commitment to up-and-coming local talent, and give them opportunities to pursue professional basketball within their local area.